Thesis Proposal Presentation by Todd Borzych on January 19th
Space Studies online master’s student, Todd Borzych, will give his thesis proposal presentation as follows.
When: Thursday, January 19th at 4:00 p.m.
Where: Ryan Hall, Room 111
Title: Size Dependent Earth-Impactor Warning Times and Corresponding Transponder Mission Designs
Warning times for Earth-Impactors have historically been close to zero. Only in recent years has there been improvement. The world community has not yet reached the point of reliably being able to detect the majority of EIs with sufficient time to allow for mitigation or a pre-cursor mission prior to mitigation. But within the next few decades, it may become possible. This will be largely dependent upon continued congressional budget allocations for the detection and tracking of the numerous Near Earth Objects (NEO). Sufficient detections with reliable tracking of NEOs will result in a growing probability that we find one of the next EIs in time to attempt mitigation. We will explore the rate of growth of these warning times and probabilities. We will attempt to produce graphical representations of the warning times for various sizes of EIs, both for our current circumstances and for the future, when many more small bodies will have been discovered. Source data comes from NASA’s NEO Program database of close approaches, JPL’s Small Body Database, and the IAU Minor Planet Center. We have been in the process of combining data for over 7,500 close approaches from these databases to determine average times between first discovery and close approaches of bodies within .05 AUs of Earth. We will also use estimates for the total number of NEOs in each size bin and may if necessary incorporate data on “lost” asteroids. We will follow up by designing alternatives for a transponder pre-cursor mission that will further refine the orbit and correspondingly the probability of Earth impact.