Science Data Processing
The NEO Surveyor science data processing pipeline builds our team's experience with discovering asteroids using a space-based infrared telescope, WISE. Our team developed software that discovered new asteroids and comets in near real-time; the asteroid-hunting portion of the WISE project is known as NEOWISE.
The NEOWISE software developed by our team allowed us to detect more than 158,000 asteroids and comets (including about 34,000 new discoveries) with heat-sensitive infrared images. These included 577 NEOs (135 of which were new discoveries credited to NEOWISE).
We will adapt the existing NEOWISE science data processing to work with NEO Surveyor's images, allowing us to distinguish moving asteroids and comets from background stars and galaxies. NEO Surveyor's survey cadence is optimized to allow the mission to not only discover new asteroids, but to observe them enough times to ensure that they can be found again.