Skip Navigation: Avoid going through Home page links and jump straight to content
spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer
NASA Logo    + View the NASA Portal  
Near Earth Object Program
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer
NEO Basics Search Programs Discovery Statistics Space Missions News Frequently Asked Questions
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer
Orbit Diagrams Orbit Elements Close Approaches Impact Risk Images Related LInks
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer
NASA NEO Program Search Programs

LINCOLN NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID RESEARCH (LINEAR)
Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR): In cooperation with the Air Force, MIT's Lincoln Laboratory has been operating a near-Earth object discovery facility using a one-meter aperture GEODSS telescope. GEODSS stands for Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance and these wide field Air Force telescopes were designed to optically observe Earth orbital spacecraft. The GEODSS instruments used by the LINEAR program are located at the Lincoln Laboratory's experimental test site in Socorro, New Mexico. Tests in early 1996 indicated that the search system, now known as LINEAR, had considerable promise. In the period between March and July 1997, a 1024 x 1024 CCD pixel detector was used in field tests and, while this CCD detector filled only about one fifth of the telescope's field of view, four NEOs were discovered. In October 1997, a large format CCD (1960 x 2560 pixels) that covered the telescope's 2 square degree field of view was employed successfully to discover a total of 9 new NEOs. Five more NEOs were added in the November 1997 through January 1998 interval when both the small and large format CCD detectors were employed. Beginning in October 1999, a second one-meter telescope was added to the search effort.

In 2002, a third telescope of 0.5 meter aperature was brought on-line to provide follow-up observations for the discoveries made by the two 1-meter search telescopes.

Currently, LINEAR telescopes observe each patch of sky 5 times in one evening with most of the efforts going into searching along the ecliptic plane where most NEOs would be expected. The sensitivity of their CCDs, and particularly their relatively rapid read out rates, allows LINEAR to cover large areas of sky each night. Currently, the LINEAR program is responsible for the majority of NEO discoveries.

Principal Investigator: Grant Stokes
Co-Investigators: Jenifer Evans and Eric Pearce

Look here for additional information on the LINEAR program:

http://www.ll.mit.edu/LINEAR/

Menu
FIRST GOV   NASA Home Page Site Manager: Paul Chodas
Webmaster: Ron Baalke
Last Updated:
Feedback Credits Privacy Mailing List NASA