An image of comet C/1999 S4 LINEAR taken by one of the LINEAR telescopes shows a characteristic well-developed tail.

Advanced Capabilities and Technologies

We research and develop technology for advanced satellite systems that are used to monitor the activity of objects in space and to perform remote sensing of Earth. Our work focuses on the development of instruments, hardware, and algorithms that provide both space-based and ground-based systems with novel capabilities for detecting, tracking, and imaging objects in space and on Earth. We also manage the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program, which uses ground-based electro-optical sensors at a field site in Socorro, New Mexico, to find and catalog near-Earth objects, such as asteroids and comets. Since 1997, the LINEAR program has discovered 50% of the known asteroids in our solar system.

Featured Projects

For installation aboard a launch vehicle, a space telescope using technology developed for DISCIT will fold up into the compact shape seen at the left, but will expand its segmented sparse subapertures, right, once deployed.
Technologies enabling the deployment of an expandable telescope from a small spacecraft could pave the way for the development of other payloads for small satellites.
The SST awaits nightfall to be tasked with scanning space from its location atop the Atom Site, a high-altitude observation point in New Mexico that provides a view of the sky that is virtually untouched by light pollution.
A unique curved focal surface enables a highly sensitive telescope capable of surveying broad swaths of deep space to detect the faintest objects in the night sky.
Each BEACON instrument has two cylinders outfitted with copper electrodes. As the cylinders spin synchronously, the electrical field produces a signal between the electrodes; from this signal, the strength and direction of the E-field are computed.
Researchers are creating a balloon-carried instrument for predicting the likelihood of lightning in a storm cloud.