23 May '15, 5am

Sentinel’s Mission to Find 500,000 Near-Earth Asteroids - IEEE Spectrum …

Sentinel’s Mission to Find 500,000 Near-Earth Asteroids - IEEE Spectrum …

We expect there to be numerous spurious detections due to variable stars, main belt asteroids, charge deposited by cosmic rays, and other noise sources. But the protocol we’ve devised for content-driven data compression—saving only those areas of an image that show a change—should allow us to cast the net wide and still be able to send data back to Earth on anything that could potentially be an NEO. A typical space telescope might compress data by a factor of two or three. We’ll save only 1/1,000 of the data we collect. This reduction in data will help compensate for the paltry transmission rates you get with an antenna so far from Earth. It will also minimize how much time we’ll need to listen on the ground. NASA has agreed to let the B612 Foundation use the agency’s Deep Space Network, a global group of giant parabolic-dish antennas that are used to pick up spacecraft tr...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/satellites/sentinels-m...

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