CSA Offers Observation Time on NEOSSat Spacecraft

NEOSSat (Credit: CSA)

LONGUEUIL, Que. (CSA AO) — The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) solicits proposals for the acquisition and analysis of new scientific data from the NEOSSat (Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite) space telescope. (Full Announcement)

The intent is to offer observation time on NEOSSat to the scientific community on a competitive basis. CSA is not planning to issue grants as part of this announcement of opportunity (AO). Successful applicants will retrieve requested data on the CSA open data portal.

The Canadian NEOSSat micro-satellite orbits in a sun-synchronous orbit at 800 km altitude over the terminator of the Earth with a 100 min period (15 orbits per day).

NEOSSat has a single instrument, an optical 15-cm telescope with two 1024 × 1024 frame-transfer CCD detectors and no filters. One CCD is dedicated for fine guidance (star tracker), while the other imager is used for the science.

NEOSSat, with heritage from the MOST space telescope, features: onboard star catalog enabling rapid all-sky target acquisition; an extended baffle for low solar elongations observations; accurate tracking of moving objects; and a shutter enabling dark images.

Unaffected by day/night and weather conditions, NEOSSat is able to perform space-based imaging including conducting photometric studies with precision sufficient to perform asteroseismology studies and other variability analyses of stars and exoplanet systems.

NEOSSat has already demonstrated imaging and photometry of certain exoplanet transits. NEOSSat is well-suited for the study of near-Earth asteroids or comets as it provides near-Sun observing capabilities and can provide direct parallax measurements of nearby objects due to its orbit around Earth.