Asteroid Watchers

2014 Challenge

  • Hashtags:

    #asteroid, #asteroidwatchers


    [email protected]


    Citizen Science, Platform


    Amateur astronomers have made many discoveries. Create an open source network of quick-response robotic telescopes that would enable fast follow-up observations of potentially-threatening asteroids. Solutions should enable telescopes in all hemispheres to be controlled from a central location quickly, much like moving a webcam. Ideal solutions will integrate hardware and software, though ambitious Autonomous Robotic Observatories (ARO) network concepts and methods for building and maintaining the network would be highly desirable.


    In June 2013 NASA announced a grand challenge to “find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them.” A large part of this Grand Challenge is to expand the role of individual inventors, tinkerers, citizen scientists, developers and technologists in participating meaningfully in addressing the work of this challenge with their individual skill sets. Asteroids are both a threat and an opportunity to the planet and humankind; the threat of their impact is one of the few natural phenomenon that we could expand our knowledge base enough to prevent devastation from.

    The Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded in the atmosphere over Russia was an example of a small Near Earth Object (about 17m wide) that was undetected before it collided with Earth. Chelyabinsk caught the world by surprise. Location of these small, fast-moving Near Earth Objects (NEOs) requires space-based hardware or large professional telescopes. Once their position is identified, rapid follow-up from smaller, amateur AROs might help to quickly assess the threat they pose and characterize their composition, rotation and other attributes.

    There are a number of proprietary telescope controllers already on the market that enable amateurs to control large telescopes remotely. Your solution can be optimized for asteroid hunting and open-source to allow for amateurs to set up AROs in every hemisphere around the globe. (I.e. your user-base is global.) Consider using low-cost platform technologies as a basis of your solution, to keep costs as low as possible.

    Solution Ideas

    Here are some ways for you to frame this solution:

    Integrate hardware and software in a way that can be easily replicated by others; endeavor to leverage existing low-cost platforms; provide open-source documentation (diagrams or 3D files) for others to build on; use open components for hardware; and cite open source tools or APIs. Bring your own hardware for this challenge.

    Sample Resources

    Asteroid Grand Challenge:

  • The following projects are solving this challenge:


      as we have already explained, the goal is transported solar power in space, for effective use of energy released by the soleir.vous're not a clunker aware that the nuclear or atomic used merely destroy our espace.ainsi, instead of using nuclear bombs to destroy the asteroid, thanks to them we can... Visit Project

    • castor--system

      This Project aims to solve the Asteroid Watchers challenge through the use of Python and a Raspberry Pi. The installed script in the open source protoboard will take the charge of : - Download the orbital data required from the Minor Planet Center webpage. - Calculate the object’s position ... Visit Project

    • castor-system

      To be filled. Visit Project

    • RGN robotics

      The home made Equatorial mount is basically built from the junk. Worm gears, tripod, camera mounts and few other components are pulled from the scrap yard. Mount has two axis tracking facility with a gear ratio of average 1:100 for Right ascension and 1:50 for declination. Software part is inspi... Visit Project

    • Chaska

      Data provided by the tools and models of trajectories of asteroids, will be played on a mobile device (based on Android) by an application (software) showing them using augmented reality. Visit Project

    • ADN-Asteroid-Detection-Network

      Primarily we aim to achieve a better awareness and involvement of citizens in the topic of NEO threat detection. Since the Chelyabinsk event in early 2013 the awareness about the threat of asteroids on critical orbits (i.e. orbits that cross earth's orbit, or those of NEOs) has increased in the p... Visit Project

    • Polaris

      Our initial aim when attempting this project was to create a simple and relatively cheap kit for schools, colleges and home users to explore the skys in a new and interesting way. The prototype of this kit was constructed with a modified sponge missile launcher, a common webcam, a raspberry pi an... Visit Project


      Through a selection system coordinates the set of nodes are chosen depending on their position for close observation and monitoring. The nodes are waiting for new data to verify the proposed coordinates for the database whenever necessary independent of the other telescopes being well each one a... Visit Project

    • Monisio Observatory

      Our project is about how we can reduce the impact of wind and vibrations on the telescope placed in a dome. Among our ideas we would make it through a system of aluminum sheets that would be around near the base of the dome, while the vibrations would achieve a spherical counter placing concrete... Visit Project


      Technological University of Panama Regional Center Abroad Faculty of Civil Engineering Members Saday Calderón Carmen Alfaro Jesus Rodriguez José Sánchez Milagros Juarez project SAFARIC Space apps calleenge 2014 introduction In the present project we wi... Visit Project

    • SkyNet Mk1

      A robotic telescope network communication program, consisting of modules that run on the server and telescope clients. Allows multiple robotic telescopes in a network to communicate and receive/send data and information. MATLAB implementations of asteroid tracking is included as well as java-base... Visit Project

    • optimum dome

      To protect the telescope structure , aluminum sheets are used in a triangular shape . All these , form a convex polyhedron suitable for the wind to be deflected so that it does not collide directly to the dome. Our proposal to beat the heat and regulate the temperature inside and outside the dom... Visit Project


      Materials to make glass Cervit vicroceramico is a glass ceramic material is used for silica sand ( SiO2) , sodium carbonate ( Na2CO3) and limestone (CaCO3). R : Armored Glass in Panama R : Metal Glass Panama A: Glass and Aluminium Based on who is going to carve a mirror 1500mm and 370mm in... Visit Project

    • Twitter Telescope

      We opted to use Twitter as our network, the near instantaneous nature of a tweet combined with categorisation (hash-tags) and with a payload capability of just enough to send over the details (such as the celestial co-ordinates) was perfect for the job. Lewis Wright, Director of Viva IT added:... Visit Project

    • TechSpace SkyWatch

      AROs are essentially created by combining a telescope with a smartphone. If the telescope has drive motors can be controlled via a standard protocol, it is controlled by the SkyWatch app on the smartphone. Telescopes with no drive motors of their own need to have these and a controlling Arduino a... Visit Project

    • RoboScope

      Our main goal is to have a network of autonomous robotic telescopes around the world that monitors the sky autonomously looking for potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs). The main features of the system that we have developed are: * __• Hardware:__ Design and implementation of a cheap robot... Visit Project

    • Self-sustainable accordion system Hardware

      Among variables to consider in the design are: wind intensity, artificial light, earthquakes, ground vibrations and sound waves produced by human action. Visit Project

    • SPYRAL

      The spyral camera is an application that takes images through an angle of 360 degrees and stitches them together into one image which is then relayed on the browser. Visit Project

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