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LINEAR (Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research) program




A program run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory and funded by the US Air Force and NASA, the goal of which is to demonstrate the application of technology originally developed for the surveillance of Earth satellites, to the problem of detecting and cataloguing near-Earth asteroids that threaten Earth. The LINEAR program uses a pair of telescopes at Lincoln Laboratory's Experimental Test Site on the White Sands Missile Range in Socorro, New Mexico, equipped with CCD electro-optical detectors. Observations are then sent to the main Lincoln Laboratory site on Hanscom Air Force Base in Lexington, Massachusetts, where they are linked from night to night, checked, and sent to the Minor Planet Center (MPC). The MPC assigns designations to LINEAR's new discoveries of near-Earth asteroids, comets, unusual objects, and main belt asteroids.


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