A team of scientists is developing technology to help avoid a nightmare – in the form of high-precision timers: a precipitating asteroid plows into the Earth’s surface, endangering humanity AFP.
This is purely a precaution, but some may say that there is always danger.
Related: What is the potential for a major civilization-ending asteroid impact?
Scientists build instruments to help Earth overcome asteroids
The new timers – already tracking satellites – were hand-designed in the lab of the Latvian start-up Eventek.
This year, Event Tech won a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop timers capable of studying the possibility of an incoming asteroid being redirected.
Similarly, the first phase of NASA’s Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission – also known as the Dual Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) – will be launched from SpaceX on July 22, 2021 on one of Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 rockets.
Event timers to follow NASA’s crash mission
Equipped with a camera weighing 1,100 bs (500 kilograms), the probe will travel to the asteroid Didymus and crash into it – trying to change the current trajectory that could be seen approaching our tiny blue planet sometime in 2123. , Phys.org Reports.
Five years after NASA’s cosmic collision, Ivantek’s deep-space event timers are still being developed for the follow-up Her mission to see if it works.
Engineers want to move the boundaries of space, not profit margins
“Our new technology, followed by the second ESA spacecraft, the Hera, will measure whether the kilometer-sized Didimos has been removed from its predecessor by avoiding human harm,” said Imantz Pulkstenis, an event tech engineer. AFP.
“It’s more fun to go to a place where no one is going to be brave than to build some low – cost consumer electronics for big profits,” Pulkstenis said, referring to a low-profile, science-fiction television series from the 1960s about Star Trek.
EventK’s devices capture picosecond measurements
Ivantech’s timers connect the Baltic state with a great legacy of space technology – one dating back to the Soviet era, when Sputnik, the first artificial satellite in orbit, was launched in 1957.
Timers measure the time required for light to travel to an object in orbit and behind.
Notably, Ivantech’s instruments can measure up to a picosecond – about a third of a second – enabling astronomers to convert time measurements into distances with an accuracy of up to two millimeters (0.078 inches).
Engineers tracking satellites since Soviet times
Approximately 10 timers are developed each year, and they are used in observatories spread across the planet. In general, they observe the Earth’s busy atmosphere, where each year more and more private satellites enter Earth’s lower orbit – closer to the flight paths of scientific and military satellites.
“Equipment is needed to track them all,” said Pavels Rasmajas, Ivantech’s chief operating officer. Latvia joined the ESA only as a full member in 2016, and its engineers have been monitoring satellites since Soviet times.
The University of Latvia has its own satellite laser range station, located in the southern forest of Riga.
Provides GPS on other planets
The collection of eventtech engineers said that microchips take nanoseconds to accurately determine a signal and try to use analog parts wherever possible – a scale that is longer than incoming measurements in picoseconds.
Only the physical length of the motherboard can adversely affect how fast the signal can travel from one circuit to another.
Although these timers have already been used for Earth calculations, another tool for deep space missions is being developed in the Event Lab – to detect planetary objects from dynamic space probes.
“GPS data coverage is not available on other planets, so you have to take your own accuracy,” Pulkstenis said. In an effort to provide the Internet (for everything) to future astronauts, the technology could be applied to Elon Musk’s open space to build a satellite network in orbit around Mars.
Satellite support systems can also move asteroids
Although developing devices like this for deep space is not easy, one of Ivantech’s engineers likes the idea. “Our updated technology has to deal with extreme temperatures and extreme cosmic radiation in space,” Pulkstenis said. “This is an interesting challenge.”
Fortunately, known asteroid-sized asteroids have absolute orbits – of which the largest asteroids fly in and out of the inner solar system. But I would also like to know how some of the technologies we use to track satellites designed for the convenience of work, such as the Internet and GPS locators, can become an important part of avoiding the horrible and sudden end of life as we know it.