We present a detailed observational strategy for finding near-Earth objects (NEOs) with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) telescope. We investigate strategies in normal, unbinned mode, as well as binning the CCDs 2 × 2 or 3 × 3, which affects the sky coverage rate and the limiting apparent magnitude. We present results from 1 month, 3 year, and 10 year simulations of such surveys. For each cadence and binning mode, we evaluate the possibility of achieving the Spaceguard goal of detecting 90% of 1 km NEOs (absolute magnitude H ≤ 18 for an albedo of 0.1). We find that an unbinned survey is most effective at detecting H ≤ 20 NEOs in our sample. However, a 3 × 3 binned survey reaches the Spaceguard goal after only 7 years of operation. As the proposed large survey telescopes (Pan-STARRS, LSST) are at least 5-10 years from operation, an SDSS NEO survey could make a significant contribution to the detection and photometric characterization of the NEO population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Minor planets, asteroids
- Solar system: general