The Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) is a mission proposed to NASA to find potentially hazardous asteroids. The mission will use a new sensor, called the NEOCam chip, that has more pixels and better sensitivity than previous generations of infrared sensors. Made of mercury, cadmium and tellurium, the new chip is about the size of a postage stamp and is optimized for detecting the faint heat emitted by asteroids circling the Sun. The NEOCam chip is the first megapixel sensor capable of detecting infrared wavelengths at temperatures achievable in deep space without refrigerators or cryogens.
NEOCam is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NEOCam's partners include the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) of the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, California; the Space Dynamics Laboratory, in Logan, Utah; Ball Aerospace of Boulder, Colorado; and Teledyne Imaging Sensors of Thousand Oaks, California.
More information about asteroids and near-Earth objects is at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroidwatch.