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Proceedings Paper

NELIOTA: ESA's new NEO lunar impact monitoring project with the 1.2m telescope at the National Observatory of Athens
Author(s): Alceste Bonanos; Alexios Liakos; Manolis Xilouris; Panayotis Boumis; Ioannis Bellas-Velidis; Athanassios Marousis; Anastasios Dapergolas; Anastasios Fytsilis; Andreas Noutsopoulos; Vassilis Charmandaris; Kleomenis Tsiganis; Kanaris Tsinganos; Sebastian Els; Detlef Koschny; Tim Lock; Vicente Navarro
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Paper Abstract

NELIOTA is a new ESA activity launched at the National Observatory of Athens in February 2015 aiming to determine the distribution and frequency of small near-earth objects via lunar monitoring. The objective of this 3.5 year activity is to design, develop and implement a highly automated lunar monitoring system, which will conduct an observing campaign for 2 years, starting in the Summer 2016, in search of NEO impact flashes on the Moon. The project involves: (i) a complete refurbishment of the 40 year old 1.2m Kryoneri telescope of the National Observatory of Athens, (ii) development of a Lunar imager for the prime focus with two fast-frame sCMOS cameras, and (iii) procurement of servers for data processing and storage. Furthermore, we have developed a software system that controls the telescope and the cameras, processes the images and automatically detects lunar flashes. NELIOTA provides a web-based user interface, where the impact events, after their verification and characterization, will be reported and made available to the scientific community and the general public. The novelty of this project is the dedication of a large, 1.2m telescope for lunar monitoring, which is expected to characterize the frequency and distribution of NEOs weighing as little as a few grams.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 August 2016
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9911, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VII, 991122 (8 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232453
Show Author Affiliations
Alceste Bonanos, National Observatory of Athens (Greece)
Alexios Liakos, National Observatory of Athens (Greece)
Manolis Xilouris, National Observatory of Athens (Greece)
Panayotis Boumis, National Observatory of Athens (Greece)
Ioannis Bellas-Velidis, National Observatory of Athens (Greece)
Athanassios Marousis, National Observatory of Athens (Greece)
Anastasios Dapergolas, National Observatory of Athens (Greece)
Anastasios Fytsilis, National Observatory of Athens (Greece)
Andreas Noutsopoulos, National Observatory of Athens (Greece)
Vassilis Charmandaris, National Observatory of Athens (Greece)
Univ. of Crete (Greece)
Kleomenis Tsiganis, Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki (Greece)
Kanaris Tsinganos, National Observatory of Athens (Greece)
National and Kapodistrian Univ. of Athens (Greece)
Sebastian Els, European Space Astronomy Ctr. (Spain)
Detlef Koschny, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)
Tim Lock, European Space Astronomy Ctr. (Spain)
Vicente Navarro, European Space Astronomy Ctr. (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9911:
Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VII
George Z. Angeli; Philippe Dierickx, Editor(s)

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