(meteorobs) OT-Possible single station determination of

Gural, Peter S. PETER.S.GURAL at saic.com
Thu Dec 18 13:17:34 EST 2008


I must agree with much of what Chris has indicated in the previous posts
on this subject. However, there is an alternative which may or may not
appeal to you. It turns out an IOTA occultation observer named Scott
Degenhardt had laid out a series of NARROW field of view imagers (approx
2 degree FOV), separated by just a few kilometers, and pointing at low
elevation angle. This was done to measure the physical width of an
asteroid via stellar occultation timing. He serendipitously collected
the same meteor in the video record of 5 cameras and because of the
narrow FOV (high angular resolution of the focal plane) we were able to
determine trajectory (thus range) quite easily with just a few kilometer
separation. I am working with him on a paper for the Journal of the IMO
but it raises the prospects for what I would call short baseline, narrow
FOV imaging for meteors. 

Now before you get too excited, the flux rate goes down because of the
narrow FOV which would have been compensated for by the design Scott
came up with that achieved better than +10 mag limiting "stellar"
magnitude for very low cost, but... the angular velocity trailing losses
across the focal plane because the meteor is whipping along at a lot of
pixels per frame, drives down the number of meteors you can see. I am
working on the optimal pointing and separation for such a system before
we go to press on the article. Thus, it is not a great system for
determining fireball distances in large FOV systems. Your best bet there
is the suggestion by Chris to separate the pair of imagers by tens of

Pete Gural 

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