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Proceedings Paper

DE-STARLITE - A Directed Energy Planetary Defense Mission
Author(s): Kelly Kosmo; Mark Pryor; Philip Lubin; Gary B. Hughes; Hugh O'Neill; Peter Meinhold; Jonathan Suen; Jordan Riley; Janelle Griswold; Brianna Vail Cook; Isabella E. Johansson; Qicheng Zhang; Kevin Walsh; Carl Melis; Miikka Kangas; Johanna Bible; Caio Motta; Travis Brashears; Shana Mathew; Justin Bollag
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents the motivation behind and design of a directed energy planetary defense system that utilizes laser ablation of an asteroid to impart a deflecting force on the target. The proposed system is called DE-STARLITE for Directed Energy System for Targeting of Asteroids and ExploRation – LITE as it is a small, stand-on unit of a larger standoff DE-STAR system. Pursuant to the stand-on design, ion engines will propel the spacecraft from low-Earth orbit (LEO) to the near-Earth asteroid (NEA). During laser ablation, the asteroid itself becomes the "propellant"; thus a very modest spacecraft can deflect an asteroid much larger than would be possible with a system of similar mission mass using ion beam deflection (IBD) or a gravity tractor. DE-STARLITE is capable of deflecting an Apophis-class (325 m diameter) asteroid with a 15-year targeting time. The mission fits within the rough mission parameters of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) program in terms of mass and size and has much greater capability for planetary defense than current proposals and is readily scalable to the threat. It can deflect all known threats with sufficient warning.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2014
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 9226, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments VIII, 922604 (17 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2059959
Show Author Affiliations
Kelly Kosmo, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Mark Pryor, Vorticity, Inc. (United States)
Philip Lubin, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Gary B. Hughes, California Polytechnic State Univ., San Luis Obispo (United States)
Hugh O'Neill, California Polytechnic State Univ., San Luis Obispo (United States)
Peter Meinhold, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Jonathan Suen, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Jordan Riley, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Janelle Griswold, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Brianna Vail Cook, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Isabella E. Johansson, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Qicheng Zhang, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Kevin Walsh, Southwest Research Institute (United States)
Carl Melis, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Miikka Kangas, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Johanna Bible, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Caio Motta, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Travis Brashears, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Shana Mathew, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Justin Bollag, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9226:
Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments VIII
Edward W. Taylor; David A. Cardimona, Editor(s)

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