NEOShield-2 at the IAA Planetary Defense Conference (PDC) 2017

pdc 2017 planetary defense conferenceScientists and engineers from all over the world will get together from 15 to 19 May 2017 in Tokyo, Japan, at the 5th Planetary Defense Conference (PDC) to discuss the threat to Earth posed by asteroids and comets and actions that might be taken to deflect a threatening object. This bi-annual conference is organized by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and it was first held in 2004. This will be the first conference focused on planetary defense to be held in Asia.

The 2015 IAA Planetary Defense Conference was held on April 13th-17th, 2015 in Frascati, Italy and counted with a total of 245 individuals representing 21 different countries. Similar to what was done in 2015, this year’s conference will also include a hypothetical NEO/Earth impact event scenario.

Over the past couple of decades, the importance of planetary defense studies has grown tremendously, along with our understanding of the threats and opportunities presented to us by the near-Earth objects (NEOs) of the solar system. A NEO is any small Solar System body whose orbit brings it into proximity with Earth. By definition, all NEOs have a closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) of less than 1.3 astronomical unit – au – (approximately 194 million km). Currently there are over 16,000 identified NEOs and this number keep increasing every month.

Near-Earth asteroids and comets pose a potentially catastrophic global hazard, it is a permanent threat to our civilization, families and properties and only a matter of time for the next major impact. Therefore there is a great necessity to implement a sustainable NEO impact prevention program now and build up a viable “deflection capability”. The NEOShield-2 project was created based on this urge.

The NEOShield-2 team will participate in the PDC with speeches and posters:

Date / Time (local time)ParticipationTitleParticipant
May 15, 11:00 a.m.TalkSMPAG Working Group on Legal Issues in Planetary DefenseLine Drube, DLR
May 16, 9:00 a.m.TalkThe Italian contribution to the NEOShield-2 EU project: Results of the first year of activitySimone Ieva, INAF
May 16, 11:15 a.m.TalkRelevance of Thermal Inertia to Planetary DefenseAlan Harris, DLR
May 16, 12:15 p.m.TalkThe ESA SSA-NEO System evolutionEttore Perozzi, Elecnor Deimos
May 17, 11:30 a.m.TalkAsteroid Impact Mission: Performing Binary Asteroid Investigation and Supporting Planetary DefensePatrick Michel, CNRS
May 17, 1:30 p.m.TalkNEOShield-2: Overview and Results So FarAlbert Falke, Airbus DS Germany
May 17, 1:42 p.m.TalkNEOTωIST: A Relatively Inexpensive Kinetic Impactor demonstration Mission ConceptLine Drube, DLR
May 17, 1:54 p.m.TalkNEOTωIST – Design Study of a Kinetic Impactor Demonstration Mission Featuring NEO
Spin Change and Observer Sub-Spacecraft
Killian Engel, Airbus DS Germany
May 16PosterNEOSHIELD-2 European Project: Compositional Characterization of Small NEOsMaria Antonietta Barucci, Observatoire de Paris
May 16PosterMeasuring Ejecta Characteristics and Momentum Transfer in Experimental Simulation of Kinetic ImpactMartin Schimmerohn, Fraunhofer EMI
May 17PosterNEOShield-2: Design and End-to-End Validation of an Autonomous Closed-Loop GNC System for Asteroid Kinetic Impactor MissionsMarc Chapuy, Airbus DS Toulouse
May 17PosterKeyhole Maps for Post Deflection Impact Risk AssessmentSiegfried Eggl, Observatoire de Paris
May 17PosterNEOTωIST: Determining the Momentum EnhancementSiegfried Eggl, Observatoire de Paris
May 17PosterNEOSHIELD-2: Optical Navigation for Near-Inertial Hovering at Close Proximity of Very Small AsteroidsSimon Delchambre, Airbus DS Germany

The Planetary Defence Conferences not only provide a great opportunity to gather worldwide experts on this field presenting their studies, but also offer a chance to have them working together on a hypothetical threat exercise and collaborate to create an asteroid impact prevention plan in case a NEO is on a collision course to Earth. That is a very important step to be taken, considering that a NEO impact is the only natural disaster we can prevent, it is crucial to know what to do when the threat becomes real.

We will write daily about the highlights of the PDC, so stay tuned!

You can stream live or check later all the speeches here.

Check the full program here.

About the author: VR