Papers are solicited for the 1st IAA Planetary Defense Conference: Protecting Earth from Asteroids. The conference will bring together worldwide experts and students to discuss:
- Detecting and tracking asteroids and comets that might be hazardous to our planet,
- Characteristics of these objects,
- Deflecting a threatening object should one be detected,
- The nature of impact disasters, and
- Political, legal and policy issues that must be considered as part of an overall mitigation strategy.
Throughout the conference Apophis-like asteroids will be considered as reference scenarios to focus the discussions. Participants will develop a set of actionable recommendations that will help to improve our ability to successfully defend Earth from possible impacts.
This conference will follow the model of the 2004 and 2007 Planetary Defense Conferences. See www.planetarydefense.info for details on the 2004 and 2007 conferences.
Technical paper abstracts (250 to 500 words in length) will be accepted electronically through the official online submission form. Please be sure to designate the topic area your paper addresses (see Session Topics below).
The deadline for receipt of abstracts is 15 December 2008. Letters of official acceptance and instructions for paper submission will be mailed on or before January 15, 2009.
Accepted papers (including poster papers) will be published in the official conference Proceedings. Selected peer-reviewed papers will be published in Acta Astronautica. Authors of all poster papers will be invited to present two-minute overview presentations during the regular session. The format for papers will be that provided on this website as soon as possible.
Information on the PDC and ESA research student competitions is listed below:
•Planetary Defence Conference 'Encounter 2029: Research Students Investigating Apophis'
Post-graduate student researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts on topics covering a variety of subjects that can be related to the theme of Apophis and small body encounters.
•ESA Call for Student Papers
In addition European students may also be interested in entering the "ESA call for student papers"for the same conference. Whereby post-graduate student researchers submit abstracts based on pre-defined concepts.
The conference as currently planned is organized into the following sessions. Suggested topics are listed, but should not be viewed as being exclusive.
SESSION 1: DISCOVERY, TRACKING, CHARACTERIZATION
• Status of the discovery program
• Options for enhancing detection and tracking of near Earth objects
• Latest information on physical characteristics of asteroids (including Apophis) and comets
• Recent Earth and Mars close approaches
• Characterization of the types of threats faced: approach trajectories, impact probabilities, object sizes, likely warning times
• Radar tracking and physical characterization of NEAs
SESSION 2: MISSION & CAMPAIGN DESIGN
• Information required to increase the likelihood of success for mitigation or close approach missions
• Deflection campaign designs that increase the probability of overall mission success
• Intercept orbits and mission time requirements
• Design of missions to characterize, track, or deflect threatening NEOs
• Engineering considerations for developing and operating a deflector spacecraft (e.g. rapid spacecraft development, integration, testing; autonomy; communications; guidance and control)
SESSION 3: DEFLECTION TECHNOLOGIES & SIMULATIONS
• Technologies that might be used against a short term (2 month to 10 year warning), medium term (10-20 year warning), long term (>20 years warning) threats
• Effectiveness vs. object size, shape, properties
• Interceptor/diverter technology requirements and current status (propulsion, guidance, etc.)
SESSIONS 4: NEO IMPACTS & CONSEQUENCES
• Estimates of costs of impacts: financial, social, casualties, etc.
• Current information on past NEO impacts (e.g., Tunguska)
SESSION 5: POLICY, PREPAREDNESS, DECIDING TO ACT
• Factors that will influence the decision to take or not take action to mitigate a threat
• Evolution of a threat (detection, decision to act, action)
• Disaster preparation and response; lessons from recent disasters
• Public notice, public perception, education
• Suggested thresholds for deflection actions
SESSION 6: SUPPORTING ACTIVITIES
• Current events and recent legislation
• Preparing public opinion and world leaders for a decision
• Current UN, space agency activities and plans supporting discovery, tracking, mitigation
• Plans for Apophis
• Recommended near-term actions