Near-Earth Objects for Engineers and Physicists (Vorlesung)

Vortragende/r (Mitwirkende/r)
Umfang2 SWS
SemesterSommersemester 2019
Stellung in StudienplänenSiehe TUMonline
TermineSiehe TUMonline


Teilnahmekriterien & Anmeldung


At the end of the course, the students will understand the physical properties of Near-Earth Objects and their threat potential for Earth. They will further have gained an understanding of the design processes behing NEO-deflection missions, as well as for the political and organizational boundary conditions for such an operation. They will also have gained insight into the technical means of NEO observation and deflection.


Basic theories, methods and tools: Detection, tracking, cataloging and characterization of near earth objects Methods and technologies: Mitigation of danger, findings, contact, diversion, destruction Tools for the simulation and analysis of time, cost and risk in NO project Engineering Data and Information sources: National and International Agencies like DLR, NASA, ESA; Institutions like Universities, Observatories ,Amateur Groups like NEAT. The lecture will be held in English. 1 GENERAL INTRODUCTION (2 HOURS) 2 FROM OBSERVATIONS TO MEASUREMENTS (2 HOURS) - Which instrumentation is used for observing asteroids – ground-based telescopes, space-based telescopes, radar - Instrumentation: CCD cameras, filters, spectroscopy, delay-doppler radar technique - ‘Groups’ of observations – survey, follow-up, and physical characterization - Example position determination: How to compute the sensitivity of a telescope, sky coverage – physics of the computations (size, distance, optical properties of asteroids + technical properties of telescope and detector => no. of electrons on sensor, Signal-to-Noise ratio) - How to determine the position of an asteroid from the image (existing software – computational background: ‘plate constants’ to correct for image distortions) - Who is doing this today? 3 ORBIT DETERMINATION AND FIRST IMPACT WARNING (4 HOURS) - How to convert the celestial coordinates of the asteroid positions to an orbit (coordinate transformations needed, fit Kepler ellipse to observations as starting point) – mathematical background, simple example - Non-gravitational forces and their effects, physical and mathematical background - Metrics for the impact risk – the Palermo Scale - Definition of ‘keyholes’ during close fly-bys and their importance - The generation of impact warnings – go/no-go point for acquiring more information - Show examples of existing systems of orbit computation centers – NEODyS (Univ. Pisa), Sentry, Horizons (JPL/NASA) 4 ASTEROID PHYSICAL PROPERTIES DETERMINATION (4 HOURS) - Which physical parameters exist and what is their relevance? - How can they be measured (link to section 2, telescopes/radars, spectroscopy) - Spectral classification, polarimetric measurements - Space mission results - What is the possible accuracy for the measurements and their effect on any impact risk assessments - Show examples of existing systems 5 IMPACT EFFECTS AND CONSEQUENCES (2 HOURS) - Physics of atmospheric entry - Atmospheric explosions and their effects, physical background - Cratering effects, physical background - Classification of impact effects (local, regional, global consequences) - Presentation of existing tools and assessment of their accuracy - Link to current activities on crisis and disaster management 6 MITIGATION – AVOIDING AN IMPACT (4 HOURS) - Redoing the impact assessment to generate the ‘final warning’ - Introduction to the currently envisaged political decision process - Link to previous lecture – activities related to crisis and disaster management (evacuation) - Space missions for mitigation – classification, technology readiness - Provide some basic mission analysis knowledge to assess the feasibility of a mitigation mission - ESA’s Don Quijote mission as a study – redo some computations 7 ‘WAR GAME’: WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF AN IMMINENT IMPACT THREAT? (2 HOURS) 8 THE NEO DECISION PROCESS AS A SYSTEM (OF SYSTEMS) (2 HOURS) 9 SUMMARY (2 HOURS)

Inhaltliche Voraussetzungen

Basics of spacecraft technology and astrodynamics.

Studien-, Prüfungsleistung

Written examination at the end of semester.