Tag Archive: ATN

Dec 13 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 12/9/19

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Dec 06 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 12/2/19

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Nov 29 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 11/25/19

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Nov 22 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 11/18/19

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Dec 11 2017

Widespread Asteroid Impacts Revealed in Seismic Study

Circle size equals magnitude of force on impact, which does not always directly equate to the size of the asteroid

Over the past year and change, with funding from the Asteroid Tracking Network, field researchers have been quietly building a network of seismic devices spread across the planet in order to monitor for ground strikes from asteroids. Close to 100 stations dot the landmasses around the globe and just last month the final round of data collection was made from all of them. The results show that, as expected, our current sky monitoring ability is lacking. Previous estimates have put the discovery rate at around 40% and this study reveals that’s just about right, with 59% of the impacts occurring without prior knowledge of their arrival. While these results don’t account for water impacts and coverage is weak near the poles, scientists agree the ratio is a solid indication of our overall detection ability.

The data also reveals what appears to be a bit of a clustering between logitudes115-175 to the west and 5-120 to the east, however these areas also represent the largest portions of contiguous landmass so it is not surprising that a lot of strikes would land here. Overall the distribution is fairly even across latitude and longitude.

To help increase our sky coverage three new ATN observatories North, South and Central will be coming online over the next few years, you can see their locations and read more about their specifications in our Deep Space Network report. The next step to be taken in this study is a closer examination of the magnitude from each strike and how they could affect any of the four underground settlements so that any steps that can be taken are suggested to the government to keep kerbs safe should any asteroids fall closer to home.

Nov 17 2017

Operations Summary – Week of 11/13/17

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Nov 14 2017

Alaba Orbital Propagation Report

Initial plot of orbital propagation

The Asteroid Tracking Network discovered a new companion of Kerbin last week as the asteroid originally designated KUH-563(C) flew through Mun’s SOI while scopes were keeping a close eye on it for just such a passage. A few days later after more observations to nail down its orbit the Kerbin Astronomical Society made the formal announcement of the new moonlet, dubbed Alaba, which is ancient Kerbskrit for “second child”. Technically this is the 5th detected moonlet of Kerbin but in relation to our only other current companion Chikelu, the name fits.

The observed orbit of Alaba showed that it had to have been a resident of the Kerbin system for several weeks to several months already. The eccentricity of its current orbit is 0.46, which is too small to be an original capture orbit. Over several encounters with Mun the asteroid has slowly developed a smaller and more circular orbit. How many? We don’t know and probably never will. The fact that it’s been around for a while though does make one wonder what else might be nearby we haven’t spotted yet!

After the initial orbit was locked down the data was plugged into the trajectory analysis tool we use here at the KSA to determine how Alaba would behave on future Mun encounters to try and predict its eventual fate. A captured object like this has three options: crash into Kerbin, crash into Mun or get ejected back out of the system. After 58 more encounters is looks as if Alaba will eventually smash into the southern hemisphere of Mun in early 2021.

Read detailed trajectory analysis »

Sep 01 2017

Operations Summary – Week of 8/28/17

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May 12 2017

Operations Summary – Week of 5/8/17

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May 10 2017

Deep Space Network Sites Chosen

Over the next 3-4 years we will be working with the Asteroid Tracking Network and the Kerbal Astronomical Society in addition to several companies and private investors to set up 4 new observatories around Kerbin for both optical and radio astronomy, which will also assist us in communicating with spacecraft beyond the Kerbin system. The first, which is already about to begin construction this month after several delays, will be the massive Arekibo Radio Observatory that will reside in the uplift island in the center of Sea Ring Crater. With a dish 200m in diameter it will be the foremost radio telescope on the entire planet and dedicated entirely to this form of astronomical observation. Although it sits in a huge bowl that cannot be moved, the receiver apparatus itself can be translated, allowing it to cover more sky than simply straight up. Arekibo is planned to become operational in mid-2018

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