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Edward F. Tedesco

I. Report on Research/Education Activities 
A. US Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite Science Team Support
I began work on the final year of a four year $942K grant awarded in July 2009 (NASA Grant NNX09AM06G; PSI Grant No. 595, effective 03 Aug 2009) for “US Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite Science Team Support”.  
This award supports the participation of US scientists on the Near Earth Space Surveillance (NESS) Science Team of the Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSat) mission, funded by the Canadian Space Agency and Defense Research and Development Canada. Development of the NEOSSat micro-satellite as a dual use mission is nearing completion with launch currently planned for February 2013 (a slip from June 2011).
The NEOSSat mission represents the first comprehensive, synoptic, space-based, visual imagery survey over a large region of the sky and will concentrate on regions of the sky not well-suited to observing from the ground. In particular, it will more efficiently search near-Sun regions (to within 45-deg of the Sun) than ground-based systems. NEOSSat is a dual use mission and will also track high altitude satellites and space debris.
NEOSSat is capable of observing about half the asteroids in Aten-class orbits with diameters greater than 1 km within three years of operation and about a third of the Atira population as well. 
NEOSSat project data will be archived at the Canadian Astronomical Data Centre (CADC - Because the CADC is not a member of the International Planetary Data Alliance and therefore, archiving data at the CADC would not meet NASA archiving requirements, we will archive all relevant NEOSSat project data in the NASA Planetary Data System's Small Bodies Node. These data will include value-added products produced by US Team members. Together, these NEOSSat mission data products will provide significant value to the rest of the US planetary science community.
During 2012 I attended the science team meeting, including Canadian team members and officials of the CSA, at the University of Calgary, AB on 02 & 03 June and participated in teleconferences on 17 and 20 July, and 16 August. At the science team meetings I gave a presentation on follow-up options on objects discovered by NEOSSat. Thus far, in addition to the CSS (whose founder, Steve Larson, is a member of the US science team), the 2.5-m MRO (E. Ryan) and 1.8-m VATT (E. Tedesco) have agreed to participate. 
A paper (Hildebrand, et al., 2012) describing NEOSSat and its mission was presented by Prof. Hildebrand at the Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2012 conference held May 16-20, 2012 in Niigata, Japan.
B. A New Absolute Magnitude System for Asteroids
A paper (Muinonen, et al., 2012) on the new absolute magnitude system for asteroids, developed in 2010 and 2011 and that will be used in processing the NEOSSat data, was presented at the International Astronomical Union's 28th General Assembly, Division III, Commission 15, Business Meeting in Beijing, China, 29 August  2012. This new asteroid absolute magnitude system was adopted by the IAU during this meeting.
C. Investigating the RCT's Suitability for Conducting Astronomical Observations
Again this year considerable time was devoted to investigating the Robotically Controlled Telescope's suitability for conducting astronomical observations for use, not only in support of the NEOSSat mission, but also for the kind of observations made by others at PSI. 
During early 2012 I conducted an investigation into the suitability of using the RCT to obtain observations in support of PSI funded research. Those at PSI who had expressed interest in using the RCT in their research included Sue Benecchi, Don Davis, Tommy Grav, Jeff Morgenthaler, Beatrice Mueller, Nalin Samarasinha, and Ed Tedesco. A large subset of these observers (SB, JM, BM, NS, and ET) requested and analyzed images representative of those they would obtain in the course of their research. 
The images for this investigation were obtained during January and February 2012 under a "special" project "approved" by the interim chair of the consortium and the observatory director. The project was "special" because, in theory, it could submit high priority targets so they would be scheduled in place of any others with regular priorities. The data analyzers did not discuss their conclusions with any of the others prior to sending them to Tedesco, who had already completed his analysis prior to receiving the reports from any of the other participants. 
Each analyzer was asked to examine the images obtained under this project and send their conclusions to Tedesco. All reports having been received by 21 March, a teleconference, to discuss whether the quality of the data obtained with the RCT are good enough for those of us at PSI to use, was scheduled for 22 March. Prior to this teleconference this document, incorporating input from all the analyzers was distributed to the participants. 
The conclusion of the teleconference was that none of the potential PSI Principal Investigators found the RCT data obtained to be of the quality that they would be able to use in their proposals. Thus, none of the PSI 2012 proposals would request any support for the RCT. Without such support, and a clear plan for sustained operations of the RCT, this facility does not meet the original goal for PSI, namely to have a scientifically useful telescope for the type of science that PSI scientists are interested in carrying out.
Consequently, on 02 April 2012 Mark Sykes, in his capacity as Institutional Representative for the Planetary Science Institute (PSI), notified the Board of Directors of the Robotically Controlled Telescope Consortium that PSI was withdrawing from the RCT Consortium effective immediately.
All useful astrometric positions I obtained using the RCT were submitted to the MPC, e.g., Buie et al. (2012).
II. Publications
Buie, M. W., Wittman, D., Gladman, B., Wasserman, L. H., and Tedesco, E. (2012). Minor Planet Observations [695 Kitt Peak]. Minor Planet Circular 77614, 1. (RCT astrometry)
Hildebrand, A., Gladman, B., Tedesco, E.F., Cardinal, R.D., Gural, P., Granvik, M., Larson, S.M., Chodas, Greenstreet, S., Carroll, K. A., Brown, P. G., Wiegert, P., Worden, S. P., and Wallace, B. J. (2012). A Space-Based, Near-Sun Survey to Discover Atira and Aten Orbital Class Near-Earth Objects, in Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2012, Proceedings of the conference held May 16-20, 2012 in Niigata, Japan. LPI Contribution No. 1667, id.6463.
Muinonen, K.,  Belskaya, I., Bowell, E., Cellino, A., Delbò, M., Levasseur-Regourd, A.-C., Oszkiewicz, D., Penolä, A., Shevchenko, S., Tedesco, E., Trilling, D., Wang, X., and Wasserman, L.H. (2012). On a Three-Parameter H, G1, G2 Magnitude System for Asteroids. Paper presented at the International Astronomical Union, 28th General Assembly, Division III Commission 15 Business Meeting, Beijing, China, August 29, 2012.
IV. Service to the Science Community
Served on the 2012 Planetary Data System: Small Bodies Node Review Panel.
External reviewer for the 2012 PAST Review Panel.
V. Teaching Activities/Public Lectures
Revised 11 articles for the Encyclopædia Britannica.
Contributed article on "Trojan asteroids" to the McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology.
Research Year: 
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