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Near Earth Objects (NEOs)

Module MW1790

This Module is offered by Chair of Astronautics (Prof. Walter).

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2012/3

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
WS 2019/20SS 2013WS 2012/3

Basic Information

MW1790 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of non-physics elective courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
90 h 30 h 3 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions

Content

The basic theories, methods and tools for detection, follow-up observations, cataloguing and characterisation of near-Earth objects will be developed.
In addition, the methods and technologies for mitigation of danger, findings, contact, diversion and destruction of NEOs will be covered.
Furthermore, Engineering data and information sources such as national and international agencies (e.g. DLR, NASA, ESA), institutions such as universities, observatories and amateur groups will be covered.
The lecture is held in English and is divided into the following teaching units:
1 GENERAL INTRODUCTION (2 HOURS)
2 FROM OBSERVATIONS TO MEASUREMENTS (2 HOURS)
3 ORBIT DETERMINATION AND FIRST IMPACT WARNING (4 HOURS)
4 ASTEROID PHYSICAL PROPERTIES DETERMINATION (4 HOURS)
5 IMPACT EFFECTS AND CONSEQUENCES (2 HOURS)
6 MITIGATION AVOIDING AN IMPACT (4 HOURS)
7 WAR GAME: WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF AN IMMINENT IMPACT THREAT? (2 HOURS)
8 SUMMARY (2 HOURS)

Learning Outcome

After attending the module course, students will be able to understand the physical properties of near-Earth objects and assess their threat potential to the Earth. They are also able to assess the design processes behind NEO deflection missions and to understand the political and organisational constraints of such an operation. They can also assess the technical capabilities of NEO observation and deflection.

Preconditions

Participation in the courses Spacecraft Design and Orbit and Flight Mechanics is recommended as a prerequisite. However, these are not absolutely necessary for successful participation in the module course.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lecture for theoretical knowledge transfer and exercise in which the acquired knowledge is applied.

Media

Digital media are made available on Moodle: a script, the lecture slides and the exercise slides.

Literature

None beyond the lecture slides.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

90-minute written exam at the end of the semester. The exam is open-book and all aids (lecture notes, books, own notes, calculator, internet research) may be used.
In the exam it is checked that the students have both understood the theoretical basics and can apply them in practice. It is also checked whether the tools, methods and sources of information taught in the lecture can be combined and applied correctly.
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