Specialized Arrays Inc. 700 Wavecrest Ave Unit 103, Indialantic, FL 32903
Early warning system comparisons The tables on the next page summarize the capabilities and limitations of the three asteroid detection and classification systems: (1) ground-based radar, (2) space-based optical, and (3) ground-based optical. What are their capabilities and limitations? Could they have warned us of the Russian asteroid?
What do we offer? The technical expertise required to create a ground RADAR array system for asteroid imaging and characterization
Our system: An ground-based RADAR array can mitigate the limitations of traditional single dish ground radar antennas like Goldstone and Arecibo. An array of ground antennas acting together - as if they were one VERY large dish can provide a powerful Earth-based RADAR imaging and characterization system for asteroid monitoring and space situational awareness. Together with advanced algorithms it has the potential to provide the power and imaging resolution needed for object characterization and measurements needed for orbit determination for early collision warning.
Past performance: In 2010, Specialized Arrays principals invented and led a demonstration of the first operationally feasible widely-space large reflector uplink arraying system on a NASA-funded program. Using newly developed technologies, we propose a next-generation very widely-spaced up/downlink RADAR array for detection, imaging, characterizing, and monitoring of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) including Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs).
Asteroid detection and characterization system comparisons
Optical space-based optical systems such as the proposed Sentinel are useful for decades-in-advance asteroid mapping. Although they can't image these objects beyond producing a 'bright spot', with multiple observations they can deduce orbit, rotation rates, and material composition. Ground-based optical systems such as Pan-STARRS are limited further by the inability to point towards the Sun (would have missed the Russian asteroid) and sky coverage. Ground-based RADAR systems can perform object imaging and characterization based on tip-offs from these optical space-based systems. However, the two that perform this task (Arecibo and Goldstone) are limited to a single antenna and the amount of power that can safely be used (limiting distance and/or image resolution). Further these dishes are over-tasked resulting in only about 3% of their time dedicated to RADAR imaging. Additionally Arecibo can only scan a portion of the sky (near the ecliptic) since the dish is static. Expensive space-based RADAR spacecraft missions have provided high resolution images of asteroids. However to date they have only imaged a handful of the millions of asteroids since they have to travel to each one. NASA's DAWN is expected to arrive at Ceres February 2015.