Near-Earth-Objects (NEO) and meteoroids are leftovers from the solar system formation process and are an essential part of the space environment. Smaller objects are more frequent but typically burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere and therefore pose little threat on the ground. However, orbiting spacecraft are not protected by the atmosphere and thus are at risk from collisions with small objects. The frequency and distribution of these objects are poorly understood, but the information is critical to quantify the risk posed to space assets. A fast-frame observation of impact events on a non-illuminated part of the Moon or on the surface of planets is a promising methodology for better estimating these parameters.
The NELIOTA project has been monitoring the Moon with the 1.2m Kryoneri telescope since early 2017, and has detected over 160 impact flashes to date (December 2022). Given the success of this project, the NELIOTA team developed a publically available open source tool for the detection of impact flashes. The FDS was developed under the ESA Contract Nr. 4000135574/21/NL/IB/gg and released in December 2022. The software is distributed using the ‘GNU lesser license’.