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Exploring the limits of digital astrometry and photometry of "moving celestial objects"

Collaboration: Sebastien Bouquillon, René Méndez, J. Silva, M. Orchard, J. Vaubaillon, F. Colas and D. Souami

In this framework, "moving celestial objects" represent objects close to the Earth for which the Point Spread Function (PSF) on a digital detector is trailed. These objects are, for instance meteors or fireballs in Earth's atmosphere, space debris, artificial satellites and asteroids, specially the closest ones, such as the Near Earth Objects (NEO), Mars-crossers and main belt asteroids. The main aspects of this research project are the following :

C1- Improvement of existing PSF models of moving objects which have to be consistent with the PSF of non-moving objects, to allow for a good astro-photometric calibration of the frames,

 

C2- Characterization of the precision limits for the joint estimation of photometry and astrometry of moving sources based on the Cramer-Rao lower bound. This part of the project is an extension of the preliminary study conducted by S. Bouquillon and R. Mendez in 2017 on the astrometry of this kind of object (S. Bouquillon et al. A&A 2017), and,

 

C3- Implementation of these new estimators in our reduction code to achieve measurements with a precision as close as possible to the theoretical lower bounds.

 

These improvements will be first applied and validated in the framework of the following ground based astronomical observations in which the LFCA is involved:

A1- The Gaia Ground Based Optical Tracking (GBOT) (details here: http://gbot.obspm.fr)

A2- The GBOT Asteroid Survey (GBAS) (details here: gbot.obspm.fr/asteroids)

A3- Astrometry and Photometry of Meteors and Fireballs with CABERNET and FRIPON networks (details here: https://www.fripon.org/)