This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

03 May 2009

2009 IAA Planetary Defense Conference: Day 4 (Session 6)

2009 IAA Planetary Defense Conference: Day 4 (Session 6)

Session 6 What's Happening Now
Session Chairs: Richard Tremayne-Smith, Ray Williamson

- Asteroid Threats: A Call for Global Response: The ASE's Challenge to the International Community
Schweickart, R. ; Jones, T.D. ; Prunariu, D.D. (Association of Space Explorers, United States)

Started in 2005, discovery of 2004 MN4, 1 in 27 probability of impact in 2029, Indian Tsunami, India/Pakistan earthquake, took on the responsibility of brining international geopolitical issue to the threat, formed a committee (Rusty-chairman) – fall of 2005, next three and half years, brought geopolitical community, this is decision program, this is an international issue – may not preclude unilateral action, recognize that the decision program – may be the biggest of three fundamental thing, report currently in deliberation within the COPUOS, read last paragraph of executive summary, five nations within the ASE, various additional members for the Panel on Asteroid Threat, no one represented a national government, people from 11 nations in Panel on Asteroid Threat, four international workshops were held over two years, same panel for all meetings, Sept. 2007 (Romania), April 2008 (Costa Rica) – assisted by F.-Chang Diaz, September 2008 (San Francisco) – Ed Lu, completed report and presented to Richard Crowter (succeeded Richard Tremayne-Smith) on Action Team 14, briefings on the report given to the following: COSPAR, IAC/IAF, Inter-Academy Council/Panel, COPUOS (06, 07,08, 09), permanent representatives (June 2009 COPUOS meeting), permanent UN groups, space faring nations, CSA/ISRO/ESA/NASA, Pres. Costa Rica, Pres. Of General Assembly, key recommendations, did not presume judgment the judgment of nations states, (IAWN, information analysis warning network) – 80% of the people in this room dealing with, put this as a network since existing structures – must come together in a coordinated network, MPOG (Mission Planning and Operations Group) – space faring nations, on top of this is a MAOG (mission authorization group) – oversight of activity (needs to represent the international community), IAWN – must inform when non-deflection (coordinated information channel to terrestrial mitigation), 2008 TC3 brought awareness of near real-time challenge, status of report: it is too early on the outcome of this process, recommendations are precedent setting, for the establishing of a standing international decision making process, work we have done has put this squarely on the nation states (

- NEO Report by the IAA
Ivan Bekey (United States)

Will be out in two week, just been issues by IAA – not the intent to do new science/analysis – but do put together information from previous workshops and build on other workshops, cover the breadth of the problem – aimed at policy/decision makers in this area, IAA is premier expert/non-governmental science and technology organization, long time in coming (all by email), 9 chapters in the report,, in the spectrum of hazards, mitigating the impact of NEOs is very important in the context of all serious hazards of concern to humanity, technology for in-space mission is fragile for detection/impact/warning, look at fast techniques and slow techniques, goes into the nuclear issue, ends by finding that typically, chapters on mitigation and physiological and sociological factors, principal recommendations on detection: expand JPL Horizons/U. Pisa NEODyd NEO computation centers, expand spacegaurd, LSST, space telescopes, augment Minor Planet Center, ground radars, for policy: create an analogue of the Interagency Space Debris Coordination Committee,

- US–NAS/NRC Study Progress
Michael F. A’Hearn (United States)

The academy panel has not started writing the report, for year I was the astronomer with the mediated gaze then turned to becoming a little boy throwing things in a sand box, Deep Impact: selected for science not mitigation (deflection – order of magnitude only: delta V – 0.1 micron/sec, semi-major axis – about 20 m, orbital period = 0.01 seconds, immeasurably small change in orbit (1 km), 1998 fund and in 1999 got new money, 2008 NASA assumed all funding for MPC, international contributions to survey/discovery negligible thus far (NEOSSAT, launch 2010), many individuals self-organizing scientists, Asteroid Finder/SSB – funded by DLR through Phase B (both focused on IEOs – inner Earth objects, the use of English in this community is strange, additional international activity (NEODys, astrometric follow-up, characterization) – this is not the type of international collaboration, 2006 – detailed study by NASA (never put in a budget request), 2008 congress told NASA to fund an NRC study and review previous study (may mean Congress is ready to put money in here), NRC study under NASA Contract, Steering Comm. With two panels (Survey/Detection Panel) / Mitigation Panel, charge to comm.: how should we best approach to discovering 90% of NEOs > 140 m by 2020, optional approach to developing a deflection strategy and international collaboration? Some issues; PanStarrs has only USAF funding (earmark for const.) – no operating budget for survey expect for NASA at 30% for three years pof PS1, LSST – only private, WIDE funded – not a full catalog, cataloging or early warning, space component (mid-IR), completion and cost, what subsets will be missed, how long, mitigate threat today or one 10 years from now, long or short warning times, how small a risk should be mitigated, should we focus on next impactor or one with the biggest threat, for this meeting – how do we make international collaboration – how? A lot of coordination with characterization – self organizing not coordinated, mitigation requires international collaboration, still in the data collection phase, GAIA should also be included for IEOs

- NEOimpactor - A Tool for Assessing Earth's Vulnerability to the NEO Impact Hazard
Bailey, N.J.1; Swinerd, G.G.2; Lewis, H.G.2; Crowther, R.3
1School of Engineering Sciences (United Kingdom); 2School of Engineering, University Southampton (United Kingdom); 3Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (United Kingdom)

NEOImpactor is combined land and ocean NEO impact tool, models NEOs from point of atmospheric entry, IGE is modeled, interdisciplinary research atmospheric + land + ocean), WARD model – ocean, Collins model – land, small asteroid population from 25-250 m radius, existing models largely ignore human consequences, output is focused on who and what is at risk, difficulty in consequence modeling, single impact investigations, compare two locations, multiple impact studies individual consequences are hard to validate, relative impact consequences can ne mad e(64x32 cell grid adopted 2048 impact simulations – 2.1 days), each impact is 1.5 minutes, maps generated use grid system, what do the results tell us: people in Southeast Asia are most affected, infrastructure in North America and Europe is most as risk – obvious. Small objects are significant on the land, large objects become more significant when impacts the ocean, country data can be extracted, Casualty Rank top: China, Damage rank: US, combined Ranking (China, US, India, Japan, Brazil) – the countries with the most to lose, what make a country vulnerable coastline, topology, population distributions, infrastructure concentrations). Not analyzing probability of objects hitting, simulation using random impact locations, (impacting into the center of cells), ability to simulate along paths, can do other natural disasters (fire, flood, hurricane, etc.), transition radius (around 35 m radius) – below radius ocean impact is lessened – on land impact is more important, warning against fragmentation, R.S.: come a long way from conference – strong plea to state things in NEO diameter and not radius, Oslo: ocean impact near field effects, continental shelf impacts, atmospheric effects may be important, Clark Chapman: presentation style is organized, important to include uncertainties somehow you can incorporate to capture uncertainty including in response

- The NEO Primer: A Tool For Collaboration, Communication, and Outreach
Weeden, B.; Williamson, R. (Secure World Foundation, United States)

Air Force officer – focused on space activities in ICBM operations, in 1943 collection of 5 essays by Robert Seber summed up knowledge of nuclear fission (become entry level reading for all new scientists to the Manhattan project), the topic of NEOs and mitigation is not easy one and requires some level of understanding (Physics, Geology, orb. Mechanics, international law, psychology/sociology, international), community is growing, growth continues , many people from different disciplines, need a Los Alamos primer for NEOs (Collaboration, Communication, Outreach), initial focus on established disciplines in the NEO field (celestial mechanics and astrodynamics, etc.), what a wiki is? What goes over times overlooked is discussion, people can actually have a discussion about contents of page, traditional copyright has automatic reservation of all republication, limits “rip, mix, mash, burn”, new type of licensing called Creative Commons (copy left approach) – author can choose licenses, expand a primer into a full-fledged NEO wiki, have a separate wiki controlled by this community – contain public research data, would allow for global collaboration and allow for the public collaboration, allows more people to collaborate, primers could be used, SWF will volunteer to make this a reality, to organize a committee to identify volunteer experts, SWF will host the wiki until a suitable home can be found, development stages (NEO primer, and then build upon this).

Panel Discussion:

D. M.: Value of report?

R.S.: ASE report on the work agenda of UN, specific high level outcome, congressional mandate of NRC study,

I.B.: Making report 7 years ago from the IAA (took so long to do the report) – value was jus tin putting out a comprehensive report,

P.G.: making models into GIS, update Wikipedia, what would you like to see in 2 years,

R.S.: ASE success will be continued discussion, interesting to see degree of avoidance of international community

- 2nd Planetary Defense Conference (Bucharest, Romania) 9-14 May 2011

- J.M. Contant
New series of meetings and conferences, made a formal request to host the conference, formal call distributed widely, received two formal proposals (several informal): Cameroon and Romania were two entries, Romania active

- Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu
Romanian Space Agency (RSA), Head
Space agency taking undertaking of new international meetings, first IAA conference last September, Romania space agency head (head of UN COPUOS), 7th largest European country, 22 M people, EU/NATO member, 1509-1579 Conrad Hass, lived and worked in Sibiu (predecessor 3 stage rocket), Spiru Haret (n-body problem), Hermann Oberth (born in Sibiu), Romanian Space Agency (RSA) established in 1991, main organizers of UNISPACE III in 1999, 15ht ASE meeting in 1999, 1st Romanian and NASA agreement, elected for Chairmen for 2010-2011, 2006 signed cooperation with ESA, every two years science and space exhibitions, 2007 ASE Workshop, multiple meetings, House of Parliament (9-14 May 2011) in Romania, could be until May 13 given number of papers

- Session 7 Panel Session & Discussion - Findings & Recommendations

W. Ailor( Moderator): AIAA is a sponsor but not a primary sponsor, 2004: 13 page white paper, developed over 2 months, White paper as basis for AIAA position paper, AIAA paper: Create a US org for PD?, expands Spaceguard survey (at that time did not phone number, now L. Johnson at NASA HQ), 2007 white paper:, 12 page document over 2 months, Recommendations in five areas, 2009 white paper as IAA position paper

Panel Discussion:

- Review of All Previous Panels and Overall Discussion of White Paper

- Review of Session 1: Discovery, Tracking, Characterization

R.S.: Emphasize the international aspects even more than what we see in the room, potential equivalent to LSST becoming ISS-like, international ownership of LSST – bold recommendation – would you include Arecibo as part of that? Should the world own security assets,

S. Chesley: not part of LSST management, involved with some science, LSST is not a fundamentally a NEO search project (first is dark matter/energy, solar systems) – internationalizing it is one of the directions (27 institutional members – 2 from outside US) – this is any avenue

R.S: is that not international collaboration and not ownership (NSF and DoE are funders)

B.A.: is there a way to being international funding?

Harris: LSST are entrepreneurs and probably have

Another audience member: characterization is lacking being, useful to try and improve current capability to carry out fundamental observation about size and composition
LSST: no proprietary data

D. Morrison: talk as if the next generation survey is a done deal, those and current surveys are not done yet, clearly needs to do funding support,

Review of Session 2: Mission and Campaign Design

Ian: Pursue studies since mission concepts, learned a lot and one of the examples – response to the Apophis Mission design competition – 40 proposals of excellent quality – done in this years put some good result in industry, Hayabusa experience, science community should have a stronger link to the engineering community, NEOMAP panel experience – reflect on this experience, ask ourselves – how we can extend this experience – build a true user community and make this link to the science community (different models and engineering community), Orion CEV – curious to see – component inspirational component also proved that it is next steps to tackle before more extensive – new scenario for this community, two mission concepts – Foresight and Proba-IP – low cost – reduce as cheap as possible and technology demonstration – number of technologies to be proved in specific scenarios based upon different bodies,

Audience member: Need practical testing of deflection methods – done in a scenario as close as possible to a real deflection mission, need experience

R.S.: resurction of D. Q. mission: observer and impactor (relatively minor capital) – convert that s/c to gravity tractor capability (single program demonstrate impact and prevision trimming mission) – a specific embodiment in a single mission, slight modification (NEOMAP chairman – Alan Harris – the younger),

B.A.: how do we increase the likelihood that is will happen,

I.C.: accumulated a key lessons learned, a lot or work in the U.S., wonder if talk about an international cooperation, if a small first strip to do a small joint study, nice to talk about international cooperation – already see big challenges behind those terms, start fostering international cooperation – not real engineers – could be established in a practical term

I.C.: ITAR – NEOMAP meeting, Pete Worden present – put out idea line to avoid ITAR problem potential U.S. handling interceptor and ESA continuing with the orbiter, wondering if we get tha specific, cooperative program without confronting ITAR directly

P.G.: getting funding from other agencies is larger,

A.H. (younger): it seems as if ESA has run out of mandate, run out of mandate, member countries really need this, how we could try and focus a little pressure on Europenan governments that this is needed (D.Q. as example)

B.A.: get this out as AIAA position paper, NASA/ESA study on going to the outer planet (Europa/Ganyanmede) missions (experience),

D. Morrison: international aspects that the only nation that has sent to a S/C to a sub kilometer, lots of rendezvous spacecraft that do not involve difficult interfaces,

A. Galvez: just a bit of distinction – some cooperation in some programs – different in others, cannot put everything in the same place- cooperation in the same place – Laplace maybe not an example – something we will have to make an effort to explain,

SSA guy: science program is following cosmic vision (collaboration mission) – asteroid deflection mission part of that – Marco Polo mission (no way to get asteroid deflection mission), one is technology demonstration, orbiter around an asteroid – ESA should use a technology demonstration capability – already there in some way with Proba-IP, only other option is make it part of SSA where in the next phase is in-space and you perhaps could build s/c – idea was initially observatory – perhaps take small part of make a deflection mission, not the science program

DLR guy: reluctant to split mission perhaps in ESA – hit the same target twice
I.C.: splitting D.Q. has never been a problem – key elements of mission concept, clearly splitable to allow international cooperation, ITAR not just about also about component- sometimes not independent – low level working experience

B.A.: design a campaign, important factor for decision makers, what is reliability mean to an overall mission concept, may have multiple countries, different techniques (what does that mean)

P. Michel: overlap with what was said, NEOMAP – never had a problem with splitting the mission, realistic with limited budget, GT + D.Q. would be good, modeling is also important, low level simulation work – benchmarking, even if we make a precursor mission, one other way is to use a deflection mission for numerical codes once they are validated by a mission

L. Johnson: who own D.Q. proposal?

A. Galvez: D.Q.: internal assessment, used as an input in the technical directorate who are managing Proba, two mission that are flown in LEO, next project will be much more significant, need cooperation, Proba-IP is one of the candidates, has not been considered?

L. Johnson: who has the details for the D.Q. proposal so somebody could see what is could take to add GT capability – study report which includes NEOMAP report (freely available) three Phase A studies – owned by ESA, that is what it will take to understand what would be needed to added to the missions (someone will have to go in and figure out what will added to it) – recommendation of including that

Michel: make this mission, find a target- not obvious, object small enough for a gravity tractor

B.A.: send email to comments,

- Review of Session 4: Impacts and Consequences

D. Morrison: who would have thought we would have had two impacts (Peru and 2008 TC3)l what we have done we have moved more and more into the small object of the spectrum (no longer talking about large objects) – surveys are retiring risk, so much of this session with smaller objects, A. Harris and caveats (just brightness) – each of those steps has uncertainty, M. Boslough – fascinating simulations – main scientific message, noticed in some sense, keyhole – providing new information, new updated information, rewrite textbook on airburst object, do these things provide recommendations, substantial amount of those recommendations, still primarily in science learning more about NEOs and small ones, do not see an international efforts, not mind revisit most of previous recommendations

R.S.: opportunity to say something new – NASA has responsibility for space science – NASA has no responsibility for public safety, need political natural hazard that has public safety

A. Harris: elephant in the corner is not retired, do not forget entirely in large bodies, tsunami is big question on long way – raising the questions.

- Review of Session 5: Policy, Preparedness, Deciding to Act

A. Galvez: no international dimension to carry out an international scenario analysis, what kind of framework would be appropriate, critical diameter issue might allow decision makers to make better local and regional damage potential

M. Boslough: short term approach to TC3: standardize mechanism for 2008 TC3 (could be considered a threat) – establish a protocol for warning, perhaps for aircraft/people, help establish credibility and international cooperation,

Review of Session 6: What's Happening Now

R. Williamson: Secure World Foundation willing to provide website and so forth for, ASE and IAA study and look forward to the national research council study (represent progress) – may want to think about something up to date and perhaps a wiki or some other mechanism that can be accessed by a wide variety of individuals, refining NEO impactor study – tools that should be developed for the future,

Additional comments:

A. Harris (the younger): three conditions on retiring the risk – new generation survey should be done – second consideration that they find nothing too severe and then monitor the orbits,

R.S.: deal for Dave Morrison – commit to you that I say NEO if you get away from the retired the risk, we have retired the surprise is a better phrase, two years from now – dedicated session with the international risk management structures of the world (communication link with them) for the next conference, have a session by then to inform us of their work, do not refer to war games

B.A.: scenario that they ran, would a group like us posing a scenario that would a credible scenario

Andy: support a Wikipedia would have been good, how the major press companies are informed, preemptive strike on press companies on these companies – go straight to them – notification to the public,

Audience member: Include consideration to other space assets?

B.A.: an impact could throw debris up to satellite orbits

Texas guy: clear that audience started from scientists, going to need a primer to get them up to speed for non-establishment audience

R. T. Smith: some parts of the community being involved, Have been asked by on PD community: "Where is your association of victims?" Teneriffa conference, later report published last year on disasters management,

P. Gatterson: also difficult to imagine a scenario (backups) engaging the spacefaring nations military and nuclear arms, a realistic deflection scenario would have them and expose them

B.A.: post that as a scenario (Apophis impact in scenario)

D. Dearborn: bringing in safety organization (DHS), should also have people who talk to them between them, DoS people, would be the ones communicating

C. Chapman: Teneriffa conference: why don’t you come to our meetings? We have to do outreach and go to their meetings, huge community

A. Galvez: attract interest to show we can provide tools, modeling and simulation (may give credibility), international nature of surveys

B. Ailor; world experts on topic, need to increase awareness, main thing that is lacking is money to do studies and research, suggest go home and tell them about encourage them to support PD

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