Measurement requirements for a near-earth asteroid impact mitigation demonstration mission

Wolters, Stephen D.; Ball, Andrew J.; Wells, Nigel; Saunders, Christopher and McBride, Neil (2011). Measurement requirements for a near-earth asteroid impact mitigation demonstration mission. Planetary And Space Science, 59(13) pp. 1506–1515.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2011.06.015

Abstract

A concept for an Impact Mitigation Preparation Mission, called Don Quijote, is to send two spacecrafts to a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA): an Orbiter and an Impactor. The Impactor collides with the asteroid while the Orbiter measures the resulting change in the asteroid's orbit, by means of a Radio Science Experiment (RSE) carried out before and after the impact. Three parallel Phase A studies on Don Quijote were carried out for the European Space Agency: the research presented here reflects the outcomes of the study by QinetiQ. We discuss the mission objectives with regard to the prioritisation of payload instruments, with emphasis on the interpretation of the impact. The Radio Science Experiment is described and it is examined how solar radiation pressure may increase the uncertainty in measuring the orbit of the target asteroid. It is determined that to measure the change in orbit accurately a thermal IR spectrometer is mandatory, to measure the Yarkovsky effect. The advantages of having a laser altimeter are discussed. The advantages of a dedicated wide-angle impact camera are discussed and the field-of-view is initially sized through a simple model of the impact.

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About

  • Item ORO ID
  • 31805
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 0032-0633
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    Not SetNot SetEuropean Space Agency, contract no. 4956
  • Extra Information
  • This paper derives from a poster presented at Asteroids, Comets, Meteors in 2008:
    Science Investigations and Payload for the Don Quijote Mission – Results of the Phase A Study. S.D. Wolters, A.J. Ball and N. McBride. Abstract 8241.
    http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/acm2008/pdf/8241.pdf
  • Keywords
  • near-earth asteroids; impact mitigation; spacecraft missions
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
    Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2011 Elsevier Ltd
  • Depositing User
  • Andrew Ball

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