Part of the Oxford Instruments Group

Near Earth Objects and Space Debris

Related to: Astronomy

Andor provide high performance solutions for the detection and tracking of objects within the solar system, either man-made orbital debris (space debris) or Near Earth Asteroids. There is an intense and current need to track either class of object, including relatively small and dim magnitude objects.

Space Debris’ bears a potential collision threat to all space vehicles. Even relatively small debris pieces represent a potential threat, and there are more than half a million pieces of that are greater than 1 cm diameter, travelling seven times faster than a bullet!

Similarly, if a Near Earth Asteroid or Comet is found to cross Earth’s orbit, it is classed as a Potentially Hazardous Object. There are over 19,000 known Near Earth Asteroids, but the inventory is much less complete for smaller objects, which still have potential for large scale disaster. Furthermore, the population of NEOs is in flux, with new asteroids from the edges of the solar system being pulled into the inner Solar system through orbital resonances with Jupiter.

Andor offers highly sensitive scientific cameras with large fields of view, ideal for the detection, spin characterisation and subsequent tracking of orbital debris and NEOs. The superb, low noise / high QE sensitivity of the iKon-XL and iKon-L CCD cameras are excellent for more effective detection of smaller objects with weaker magnitude signals, while the very large field of view means much more sky can be scanned within a frame, thus further increasing chances of detection. The Marana back-illuminated sCMOS camera combines low noise, high QE and large field of view with fast frame rates, rendering it ideal for Space Debris tracking of objects across a range of sizes and orbital distances.


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