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Proceedings Paper

Effects of asteroid rotation on directed energy deflection
Author(s): Isabella E. Johansson; Tatiana Tsareva; Janelle Griswold; Philip Lubin; Gary B. Hughes; Hugh O'Neill; Peter Meinhold; Jonathan Suen; Qicheng Zhang; Jordan Riley; Carl Melis; Kevin Walsh; Travis Brashears; Justin Bollag; Shana Mathew; Johanna Bible
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Paper Abstract

Asteroids that threaten Earth could be deflected from their orbits using laser directed energy or concentrated solar energy to vaporize the surface; the ejected plume would create a reaction thrust that pushes the object away from its collision course with Earth. One concern regarding directed energy deflection approaches is that asteroids rotate as they orbit the Sun. Asteroid rotation reduces the average thrust and changes the thrust vector imparting a time profile to the thrust. A directed energy system must deliver sufficient flux to evaporate surface material even when the asteroid is rotating. Required flux levels depend on surface material composition and albedo, thermal and bulk mechanical properties of the asteroid, and asteroid rotation rate. In the present work we present results of simulations for directed energy ejecta-plume asteroid threat mitigation. We use the observed distribution of asteroid rotational rates, along with a range of material and mechanical properties, as input to a thermal-physical model of plume generation. We calculate the expected thrust profile for rotating objects. Standoff directed energy schemes that deliver at least 10 MW/m2 generate significant thrust for all but the highest conceivable rotation rates.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2014
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 9226, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments VIII, 922607 (17 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2061368
Show Author Affiliations
Isabella E. Johansson, Columbia Univ. (United States)
Tatiana Tsareva, Santa Barbara City College (United States)
Janelle Griswold, Santa Barbara City College (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)
Qicheng Zhang, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Jordan Riley, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Carl Melis, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Kevin Walsh, Southwest Research Institute (United States)
Travis Brashears, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Justin Bollag, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Shana Mathew, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Johanna Bible, 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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