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Proceedings Paper

Comet deflection by directed energy: a finite element analysis
Author(s): Jonathan Madajian; Janelle Griswold; Anush Gandra; Gary B. Hughes; Qicheng Zhang; Nic Rupert; Philip Lubin
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Paper Abstract

Comets and Asteroids are viable threats to our planet; if these space rocks are smaller than 25 meters, they burn up in the atmosphere, but if they are wider than 25 meters they can cause damage to the impact area. Anything more than one to two kilometers can have worldwide effects, furthermore a mile-wide asteroid travelling at 30,000 miles per hour has the energy equal to a megaton bomb and is very likely to wipe out most of the life on Earth. Residents near Chelyabinsk, Russia experienced the detrimental effects of a collision with a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) on 15 February 2013 as a ~20 m object penetrated the atmosphere above that city. The effective yield from this object was approximately 1/2 Megaton TNT equivalent (Mt), or that of a large strategic warhead. The 1908 Tunguska event, also over Russia, is estimated to have had a yield of approximately 15 Mt and had the potential to kill millions of people had it come down over a large city1. In the face of such danger a planetary defense system is necessary and this paper proposes a design for such a system. DE-STAR (Directed Energy System for Targeting of Asteroids and exploRation) is a phased array laser system that can be used to oblate, deflect and de-spin asteroids and comets.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 September 2016
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9981, Planetary Defense and Space Environment Applications, 998107 (19 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2238475
Show Author Affiliations
Jonathan Madajian, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Janelle Griswold, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Anush Gandra, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Gary B. Hughes, California Polytechnic State Univ., San Luis Obispo (United States)
Qicheng Zhang, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Nic Rupert, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Philip Lubin, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9981:
Planetary Defense and Space Environment Applications
Gary B. Hughes, Editor(s)

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