O.D.A.S. - The OCA - DLR Asteroid Survey

Progress report for 1997

Its major goal in 1997 was to test and improve observing methods, reduction and analysis procedures and obtain experience with different modes of observations under real conditions.

Regular observations started in March, while runs to implement and test scan mode observations were performed in January to March.

A running observing scheme was established to share telescope time with other programs , which - after some trial periods and practical adjustments gives O.D.A.S. four consecutive nights with the following four nights for other programs. No observations are done around the full moon period.

Normally, O.D.A.S. observations are performed by the local O.C.A. staff observers (Alain Maury and Dominique Albanèse, occasionally supported by Christian Pollas). Several times during the year observers from the DLR-IPE came to Calern to perform some of the runs (with some local support). Gerhard Hahn in January, Martin Hoffmann in August, November and December, spent each one week runs.

Milestones during 1997:

  • January: first scans taken at the telescope
  • March: CCD camera permanently installed inside the telescope
  • April: first scans successfully processed at the telescope
  • June: at the end of the month we had already produced more than 3000 astrometric positions.
  • July: First FMO detected, Amor asteroid 1997 NJ6
  • August: Software upgrade
  • November-December: several MC and second FMO, high-inclination Amor asteroid 1997 XV11 discovered.

  • By the end of the year more than 15,000 positions have been obtained.

    Historic perspective : Total number of astrometric positions sent to the IAU under relevant IAU codes :

    IAU code 020

    Nice Observatory since 1881


    IAU code 010

    O.C.A. Schmidt telescope since 1978


    IAU code 910

    O.D.A.S. at end 1997


    While this year was a starting year with very little observations before June, O.D.A.S. already produced more astrometric measurements than in the last twenty years of photographic observations at Caussols.

    Report compiled by Gerhard Hahn and Alain Maury

    January 20, 1998