October 31, 2014



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Review of Near Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies

NEO_web_banner

Project Information

Status Report of Committee Activities

The committee and its panels will undertake a two-phase study to provide recommendations addressing two major tasks: determining the best approach to completing the NEO census required by Congress to identify potentially hazardous NEO’s larger than 140 meters in diameter by the year 2020 and determining the optimal approach to developing a deflection strategy and ensuring that it includes a significant international effort. Both tasks will include an assessment of the costs of various alternatives, using independent cost estimating.

The Committee for the Review of Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies interim report is due for release in late July or early August.

The steering group held its second meeting at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico May 18-20. The steering group’s third meeting will take place at Woods Hole, August 10-11, and a fourth meeting in early September at an undetermined location.

The committee’s Survey/Detection Panel held its second meeting at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona April 20-22 where it also visited the Catalina Sky Survey Telescope. A third meeting, involving the chair and a member of the mitigation panel, visited the Pan-STARRS-1 telescope facility on Maui April 29-30. The panel’s fourth meeting, devoted to writing its final report, was held July 13-15 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The committee’s Mitigation Panel held its second meeting June 23-25 at Woods Hole and is holding its third meeting, devoted primarily to writing the final report, in Boulder, Colorado, July 29-31.


Statement of Task

The National Research Council Space Studies Board, in cooperation with the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, shall conduct a two-part study to address issues in the detection of potentially hazardous NEOs and approaches to mitigating identified hazards. Both tasks should include an assessment of the costs of various alternatives, using independent cost estimating. Options that blend the use of different facilities (ground- or space-based), or involve international cooperation, may be considered. Each study phase will result in a report to be delivered on the schedule provided in the contract. Key questions to be addressed during each phase of the study are the following:

Task 1: NEO Surveys

What is the optimal approach to completing the NEO census called for in the George E. Brown, Jr. Near-Earth Object Survey section of the 2005 NASA Authorization Act to detect, track, catalogue and characterize the physical characteristics of at least 90% of potentially hazardous NEOs larger than 140 meters in diameter by the end of year 2020? Specific issues to be considered include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What observational, data-reduction, and data-analysis resources are necessary to achieve the Congressional mandate of detecting, tracking, and cataloguing the NEO population of interest?
  • What physical characteristics of individual objects above and beyond the determination of accurate orbits should be obtained during the survey to support mitigation efforts?
  • What role could be played by the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in characterizing these objects?
  • What are possible roles of other ground- and space-based facilities in addressing survey goals, e.g., potential contributions of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan STARRS)?

Task 2: NEO Hazard Mitigation

What is the optimal approach to developing a deflection capability, including options with a significant international component? Issues to be considered include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What mitigation strategy should be followed if a potentially hazardous NEO is identified?
  • What are the relative merits and costs of various deflection scenarios that have been proposed?

Past Meetings

Steering Committee: December 9-11, 2008, at the National Academies’ Keck Center in Washington, D.C.
--View the agenda
Mitigation Panel: June 23-25, 2009, at the National Academies’ Jonsson Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
--View the agenda
Survey/Detection Panel: January 28-30, 2009, at the National Academies’ Keck Center in Washington, D.C.
--View the agenda
Survey/Detection Panel: July 13-15, 2009, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
--View the agenda
Mitigation Panel: March 30-April 1, at the National Academies’ Keck Center in Washington, D.C.
--View the agenda
 Mitigation Panel: July 29-31, 2009, in Boulder, CO.
--View the agenda
Survey/Detection Panel: April 20-22, 2009, at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona.
--View the agenda

Steering Committee: August 10-11, 2009, at the J. Erik Johnson Woods Hole Center in Woods Hole, MA.
--View the agenda

Steering Committee: May 18-20 in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
--View the agenda

Steering Committee: September 1-2, 2009, at the Beckman Center in Irvine, California.
--View the agenda

Steering Committee Members

Irwin Shapiro, Chair
Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
David C. Jewitt
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Stephen Mackwell
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Faith Vilas, Vice-chair
MMT Observatory at Mt. Hopkins, AZ
H. Jay Melosh
University of Arizona
Andrew F. Cheng
Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory
Joseph Rothenberg
Universal Space Network
Frank Culbertson, Jr.
Orbital Science Corporation

Survey/Detection Panel Members

Faith Vilas, Chair
MMT Observatory at Mt. Hopkins, AZ
Robert D. Culp
University of Colorado at Boulder
Paul Abell
Planetary Science Institute
Yang (Yan) Fernandez
University of Central Florida
Robert F. Arentz
Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.
Lynne Jones
University of Washington
Lance A.M. Benner
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Stephen Mackwell
Lunar and Planetary Institute
William Bottke
Southwest Research Institute
Amy Mainzer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
William E. Burrows
New York University
Gordon H. Pettengill
MIT (Retired)
Andrew Cheng
Applied Physics Laboratory
Johns Hopkins Univeristy
John Rice
University of California, Berkeley

Mitigation Panel Members

Michael A’Hearn, chair
University of Maryland, College Park
David Y. Kusnierkeiwicz
Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University
Michael J. S. Belton
Belton Space Exploration
Paulo Lozano
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mark Boslough
Sandia National Laboratories
Edward D. McCullough
Boeing (retired)
Clark R. Chapman
Southwest Research Institute
H. Jay Melosh
University of Arizona
Sigrid Close
Los Alamos National Laboratory
RADM David Nash
Dave Nash and Associates, LLC
James A. Dator
University of Hawaii, Manoa
Daniel J. Scheeres
University of Colorado at Boulder
David S. P. Dearborn
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Sarah Stewart-Mukhopadhyay
Harvard University
Keith A. Holsapple
University of Washington
Kathryn C. Thornton
University of Virginia

Staff Members

Dwayne Day
Study Director

Andrea Rebholz
Program Associate

Paul Jackson
Study Director

Victoria Swisher
Research Associate (til 09.09))

David Smith
Consulting Study Director

Abigail Sheffer
Associate Program Officer

Lewis Groswald
Research Associate

Rodney Howard
Senior Project Assistant

Relevant Documents

Defending Planet Earth Near earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies

NASA’s Near-Earth Object Survey and Deflection Analysis of Alternatives

Request for Information

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