Results from the AIM-IT Meteor Tracking System
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- Gural, P.S., Jenniskens, P.M. & Varros, G. Earth Moon Planet (2004) 95: 541. doi:10.1007/s11038-005-1255-5
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The recent development and data collection results of the Astrobiology Instrumentation for Meteor Imaging and Tracking (AIM-IT) system, has demonstrated an ability to point narrow field-of-view instruments at transient events such as meteors. AIM-IT uses the principle of tracking moving objects via a paired set of relay mirrors along with an integrated hardware/software solution, to acquire and track meteors in real-time. Development of the instrument has progressed from a prototype rocker-box system through more recent use of a fast response mirror system during several meteor shower campaigns. Several narrow field of view instruments have been deployed using AIM-IT including high spatial resolution video, high frame rate video, and meteor spectrographic equipment. Analysis of the imagery shows evidence for meteor fragmentation in as many as 20% of the meteors tracked thus far. The success of the AIM-IT technology in tracking meteors during their luminous flight provides a new tool in enhancing the capabilities and data volume that can be obtained with existing narrow field of view instruments.