New Sensor Could Help Detect Earth-bound Asteroids
A sensor designed to be the eyes of a future asteroid-tracking mission has passed a critical test. The Near Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) sensor is a new infrared-light detector to improve the performance and efficiency of the next generation of space-based asteroid-hunting telescopes. It is the result of a long-term collaboration between the University of Rochester and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), together with Teledyne Imaging Sensors.
A paper on the NEOCam sensor test will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Optical Engineering.
"The NEOCam sensor will increase our ability to detect hazardous asteroids near the Earth and improve our understanding of threatening objects," said William J. Forrest, professor of astronomy at the University of Rochester. The NASA-funded NEOCam space mission will also search for the most favorable destinations for future exploration by humans or robotic missions.