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Near Earth Object Program
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LINEAR (Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research)
The LINEAR (Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research) program leads in the discovery of the NEOs larger than one kilometer so this survey is largely responsible for successfully meeting the so-called Spaceguard goal of finding 90% of the NEOs with a diameter of one kilometer or larger. The LINEAR program, run by MIT's Lincoln Lab, has applied electro-optical sensor technology developed for US Air Force Space Surveillance applications to the problem of discovering near-Earth asteroids and comets. LINEAR has been a significant contributor to NEO discoveries since the program inception in March 1998. The program will continue this consistent and reliable NEO search program while seeking ways to further expand the survey capacity through continually fielding improved algorithms and shared use of new space surveillance assets. The legacy 1.0-meter LINEAR telescope system is located at Lincoln Laboratory's Experimental Test Site (ETS) near Stallion Range Center on the US Army's White Sand Missile Range (WSMR) in central New Mexico. In 2013, the Laboratory discontinued use of the 1.0-meter system while transitioning to the use of the 3.5 m Space Surveillance Telescope (SST). This novel telescope system was developed with DARPA funding and is advantageously located within WSMR on Atom Peak at 2400m elevation.

All validated asteroid observations made by the LINEAR program will be submitted to the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center (MPC) to be combined with observations by other programs and disseminated to the wider astronomical community.

LINEAR discovery telescopes
Legacy: 1.0-m, f/2.2, Obs. code = 704, 2 sq. deg., 2.25 arcsec/px
SST: 3.5-m, f/1.0, Obs. Code = N/A, 6 sq. deg., 0.89 arcsec/px

Dr. Grant Stokes is the principal investigator for the LINEAR program.

For more information, see: http://www.ll.mit.edu/mission/space/linear/

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