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Proceedings Paper

Semi-Automated Detection Of Interplanetary Objects
Author(s): L . G Taff; A . J . Yakutis; R L Haase; D M Jonuskis
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Paper Abstract

The search for, the detection of, and the discrimination among moving objects has been a labor-intensive, time-consuming task. Earth-approaching asteroids, tenth planets, comets, meteoroids, and so on fill part of the solar system in an unpredictable way. Using state-of-the-art, low-light-level, beam-scanned, electron-bombarded silicon television cameras on a telescope equipped with a microprocessor/minicomputer control system, we have searched for Earth-approaching minor planets for several years. Two gener.tions of ever increasingly sophisticated analog and digital video data handling and image processing have now been upgraded with the addition of a VICOM Systems Inc. model 1800 digital image processor. The VICOM, with its own microprocessor, real-time digital video disc storage, and other peripherals allows for the real-time implementation of video processing algorithms which discriminates moving objects from the stellar background. As of the submission date of this abstract, all this is working at our observatory in a semi-automatic mode. We hope to have this fully automatic with the replacement of the current cameras by state-of-the-art, very low noise, very high transfer efficiency, and high quantum efficiency charge coupled device cameras. The capabilities of this system would be such that searches for variable intensity (but fixed in position) sources are feasible too. Whether supernovae, novae, flare stars, or other types of variability are sought, this would be the next step for our observatory. However, the detector/data handling/control/image processing problems associated with this task are much more difficult to solve.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 October 1986
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 0627, Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, (13 October 1986); doi: 10.1117/12.968085
Show Author Affiliations
L . G Taff, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
A . J . Yakutis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
R L Haase, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
D M Jonuskis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0627:
Instrumentation in Astronomy VI
David L. Crawford, Editor(s)

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