Mission analysis for two potential asteroids threat scenarios: optimal impact strategies and technology evaluation
Camilla Colombo ; Marta Albano ; Roberto Bertacin ; ...Alessandro Gabrielli ; et al.
Sep - 2017

Event Title : 68th International Astronautical Congress 2017
Published in: IAC Paper
Publisher: IAC
type: Conference Proceedings

The Space Mission Planning Advisory Group (SMPAG) is a United Nation mandated group, consti-tuted in 2014 following the recommendation of the working group on Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) andTechnical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. In strongsynergy with the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN), SMPAG’s mission is to prepare foran international response to a NEO impact threat through the exchange of information, development ofoptions for collaborative research and mission opportunities, and to conduct NEO impact threat miti-gation planning activities. The Italian Space Agency (ASI) is a member of SMPAG and contributes tothe Group’s activities by identifying reference missions for different NEO-threat scenarios and carryingout Phase 0 studies. As result of the performed activity, this paper proposes two reference missions inresponse to potential threat by different typologies of asteroids. The analysis of these two scenarios willallow to provide the most effective response in case of a real NEO-threat (as confirmed by IWAN). Twotarget scenarios for an asteroid deflection mission were identified on the basis of the following criteria: (i)“Small-size” asteroid of 22MAG corresponding to a diameter of 70 - 100m, direct impact trajectory, leadtime to impact of about 10years; (ii) “Large-size” asteroid 17MAG corresponding to a diameter of 500m -1 km, resonant encounter trajectory, lead time to the impact of about 20years. In both cases the asteroid2010RF12 was chosen as a representative target, as currently it has the highest probability of hitting theEarth. As this asteroid’s diameter is only between 4 m and 12 m, its orbit was used in this study, while itssize was increased to create a synthetic object. Indeed, 2010RF12’s orbit will lead to either an impact theEarth, or a very close encounter with it, at the end of the current century. For each case, the deflectionstrategy of the NEO’s impacting trajectory is selected by means of an optimisation procedure to minimisethe spacecraft launch mass, while maximising the asteroid miss distance. The effects of uncertainties in the deflection manoeuvre and the asteroid’s response to the deflection action are taken into account. Toget significant advances in the verification of the technical feasibility of the deflection strategy identified,the analysis will define all the mission components, from the launcher identification to the design of thespacecraft system and subsystems (e.g. propulsion, power management, GNC etc.).

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Notes : Paper codeIAC-17,C1,7,12,x37988