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INCOMING!, Detection and observation of Earth-approaching asteroids.
Paolo
post Jul 17 2017, 10:43 AM
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this is interesting: ESA tested on LISA Pathfinder the possibility of using the spacecraft star trackers to observe near Earth asteroids (with some success, apparently)
http://blogs.esa.int/rocketscience/2017/07...unts-asteroids/
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hendric
post Jul 20 2017, 09:34 PM
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QUOTE (Paolo @ Jul 17 2017, 04:43 AM) *
this is interesting: ESA tested on LISA Pathfinder the possibility of using the spacecraft star trackers to observe near Earth asteroids (with some success, apparently)
http://blogs.esa.int/rocketscience/2017/07...unts-asteroids/


Actually, it would be interesting to know if their ultra stability requirements allow them to detect dust particle impacts & their direction. Would be interesting data, anyways.


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Paolo
post Jul 21 2017, 03:41 AM
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there was an arXiv paper on this subject:

Detection and Characterization of Micrometeoroids with LISA Pathfinder

QUOTE
The Solar System contains a population of dust and small particles originating from asteroids, comets, and other bodies. These particles have been studied using a number of techniques ranging from in-situ satellite detectors to analysis of lunar microcraters to ground-based observations of zodiacal light. In this paper, we describe an approach for using the LISA Pathfinder (LPF) mission as an instrument to detect and characterize the dynamics of dust particles in the vicinity of Earth-Sun L1. Launching in late 2015, LPF is a dedicated technology demonstrator mission that will validate several key technologies for a future space-based gravitational-wave observatory. The primary science instrument aboard LPF is a precision accelerometer which we show will be capable of sensing discrete momentum impulses as small as 410−8N⋅s. We then estimate the rate of such impulses resulting from impacts of micrometeoroids based on standard models of the micrometeoroid environment in the inner solar system. We find that LPF may detect dozens to hundreds of individual events corresponding to impacts of particles with masses >10−9g during LPF's roughly six-month science operations phase in a 5105km by 8105km Lissajous orbit around L1. In addition, we estimate the ability of LPF to characterize individual impacts by measuring quantities such as total momentum transferred, direction of impact, and location of impact on the spacecraft. Information on flux and direction provided by LPF may provide insight as to the nature and origin of the individual impact and help constrain models of the interplanetary dust complex in general. Additionally, this direct in-situ measurement of micrometeoroid impacts will be valuable to designers of future spacecraft targeting the environment around L1.


don't know whether any meaningful results were obtained or not
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hendric
post Jul 21 2017, 05:38 AM
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Thanks for that paper! I searched citations on it, and it looks like the same authors just published some initial results, with some candidate impacts:

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/...0/1/012007/meta


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"The engineers, as usual, made a tremendous fuss. Again as usual, they did the job in half the time they had dismissed as being absolutely impossible." --Rescue Party, Arthur C Clarke
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