Light-touch2: a laser-based solution for the deflection, manipulation and exploitation of small asteroids

Massimiliano Vasile, Massimo Vetrisano, Alison Gibbings, Daniel Garcia Yarnoz, Joan-Pau Sanchez Cuartielles, John-Mark Hopkins, David Burns, Colin McInnes, Camilla Colombo, Joao Branco, Alastair Wayman, Steven Eckersley

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This paper presents the preliminary mission and system analysis of a small-scale, light-weight system for the deflection, manipulation and exploitation of small size asteroids. The system proposed in this paper, called Light-Touch2, uses lasers to ablate the surface of an asteroid and induce a low thrust modification of its orbit. The system is applied to the deflection of a small size asteroid, 2-4 m in diameter, 130 tons in mass. It will be demonstrated that a laser system powered by conventional solar arrays can produce enough thrust to change the velocity of the asteroid by 1 m/s in less than 3 years. The current mission and system design to implement the Light-Touch2 concept envisage the use of a small class spacecraft, called AdAM (Asteroid Ablation Mission), which will fly in formation with the asteroid and apply laser ablation for a suitably long time. In the paper, the Light-Touch2 concept is compared against other known contactless deflection systems. Assessed qualities include momentum coupling and mass efficiency. The system and mission analysis will also be complemented by navigation analysis. A combination of ground-based and onboard optical measurements will be used to provide the required accuracy to fly in formation with the asteroid and to measure the deflection. The paper will therefore present the preliminary spacecraft system analysis and the preliminary transfer and navigation analysis.
LanguageEnglish
PagesPaper IAA-PDC13-04-22
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2013
EventIAA Planetary Defense Conference - Flagstaff, United States
Duration: 15 Apr 201319 May 2013

Conference

ConferenceIAA Planetary Defense Conference
CountryUnited States
CityFlagstaff
Period15/04/1319/05/13

Fingerprint

Asteroids
Lasers
Systems analysis
Spacecraft
Navigation
Laser ablation
Ablation
Momentum
Orbits

Keywords

  • asteroid deflection
  • asteroid exploitation
  • asteroid tracking and deflection
  • laser ablation
  • proximity operations

Cite this

Vasile, M., Vetrisano, M., Gibbings, A., Garcia Yarnoz, D., Sanchez Cuartielles, J-P., Hopkins, J-M., ... Eckersley, S. (2013). Light-touch2: a laser-based solution for the deflection, manipulation and exploitation of small asteroids. Paper IAA-PDC13-04-22. Paper presented at IAA Planetary Defense Conference, Flagstaff, United States.
Vasile, Massimiliano ; Vetrisano, Massimo ; Gibbings, Alison ; Garcia Yarnoz, Daniel ; Sanchez Cuartielles, Joan-Pau ; Hopkins, John-Mark ; Burns, David ; McInnes, Colin ; Colombo, Camilla ; Branco, Joao ; Wayman, Alastair ; Eckersley, Steven . / Light-touch2 : a laser-based solution for the deflection, manipulation and exploitation of small asteroids. Paper presented at IAA Planetary Defense Conference, Flagstaff, United States.28 p.
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abstract = "This paper presents the preliminary mission and system analysis of a small-scale, light-weight system for the deflection, manipulation and exploitation of small size asteroids. The system proposed in this paper, called Light-Touch2, uses lasers to ablate the surface of an asteroid and induce a low thrust modification of its orbit. The system is applied to the deflection of a small size asteroid, 2-4 m in diameter, 130 tons in mass. It will be demonstrated that a laser system powered by conventional solar arrays can produce enough thrust to change the velocity of the asteroid by 1 m/s in less than 3 years. The current mission and system design to implement the Light-Touch2 concept envisage the use of a small class spacecraft, called AdAM (Asteroid Ablation Mission), which will fly in formation with the asteroid and apply laser ablation for a suitably long time. In the paper, the Light-Touch2 concept is compared against other known contactless deflection systems. Assessed qualities include momentum coupling and mass efficiency. The system and mission analysis will also be complemented by navigation analysis. A combination of ground-based and onboard optical measurements will be used to provide the required accuracy to fly in formation with the asteroid and to measure the deflection. The paper will therefore present the preliminary spacecraft system analysis and the preliminary transfer and navigation analysis.",
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author = "Massimiliano Vasile and Massimo Vetrisano and Alison Gibbings and {Garcia Yarnoz}, Daniel and {Sanchez Cuartielles}, Joan-Pau and John-Mark Hopkins and David Burns and Colin McInnes and Camilla Colombo and Joao Branco and Alastair Wayman and Steven Eckersley",
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Vasile, M, Vetrisano, M, Gibbings, A, Garcia Yarnoz, D, Sanchez Cuartielles, J-P, Hopkins, J-M, Burns, D, McInnes, C, Colombo, C, Branco, J, Wayman, A & Eckersley, S 2013, 'Light-touch2: a laser-based solution for the deflection, manipulation and exploitation of small asteroids' Paper presented at IAA Planetary Defense Conference, Flagstaff, United States, 15/04/13 - 19/05/13, pp. Paper IAA-PDC13-04-22.

Light-touch2 : a laser-based solution for the deflection, manipulation and exploitation of small asteroids. / Vasile, Massimiliano; Vetrisano, Massimo; Gibbings, Alison; Garcia Yarnoz, Daniel; Sanchez Cuartielles, Joan-Pau; Hopkins, John-Mark; Burns, David; McInnes, Colin; Colombo, Camilla; Branco, Joao; Wayman, Alastair ; Eckersley, Steven .

2013. Paper IAA-PDC13-04-22 Paper presented at IAA Planetary Defense Conference, Flagstaff, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - Light-touch2

T2 - a laser-based solution for the deflection, manipulation and exploitation of small asteroids

AU - Vasile, Massimiliano

AU - Vetrisano, Massimo

AU - Gibbings, Alison

AU - Garcia Yarnoz, Daniel

AU - Sanchez Cuartielles, Joan-Pau

AU - Hopkins, John-Mark

AU - Burns, David

AU - McInnes, Colin

AU - Colombo, Camilla

AU - Branco, Joao

AU - Wayman, Alastair

AU - Eckersley, Steven

PY - 2013/4/15

Y1 - 2013/4/15

N2 - This paper presents the preliminary mission and system analysis of a small-scale, light-weight system for the deflection, manipulation and exploitation of small size asteroids. The system proposed in this paper, called Light-Touch2, uses lasers to ablate the surface of an asteroid and induce a low thrust modification of its orbit. The system is applied to the deflection of a small size asteroid, 2-4 m in diameter, 130 tons in mass. It will be demonstrated that a laser system powered by conventional solar arrays can produce enough thrust to change the velocity of the asteroid by 1 m/s in less than 3 years. The current mission and system design to implement the Light-Touch2 concept envisage the use of a small class spacecraft, called AdAM (Asteroid Ablation Mission), which will fly in formation with the asteroid and apply laser ablation for a suitably long time. In the paper, the Light-Touch2 concept is compared against other known contactless deflection systems. Assessed qualities include momentum coupling and mass efficiency. The system and mission analysis will also be complemented by navigation analysis. A combination of ground-based and onboard optical measurements will be used to provide the required accuracy to fly in formation with the asteroid and to measure the deflection. The paper will therefore present the preliminary spacecraft system analysis and the preliminary transfer and navigation analysis.

AB - This paper presents the preliminary mission and system analysis of a small-scale, light-weight system for the deflection, manipulation and exploitation of small size asteroids. The system proposed in this paper, called Light-Touch2, uses lasers to ablate the surface of an asteroid and induce a low thrust modification of its orbit. The system is applied to the deflection of a small size asteroid, 2-4 m in diameter, 130 tons in mass. It will be demonstrated that a laser system powered by conventional solar arrays can produce enough thrust to change the velocity of the asteroid by 1 m/s in less than 3 years. The current mission and system design to implement the Light-Touch2 concept envisage the use of a small class spacecraft, called AdAM (Asteroid Ablation Mission), which will fly in formation with the asteroid and apply laser ablation for a suitably long time. In the paper, the Light-Touch2 concept is compared against other known contactless deflection systems. Assessed qualities include momentum coupling and mass efficiency. The system and mission analysis will also be complemented by navigation analysis. A combination of ground-based and onboard optical measurements will be used to provide the required accuracy to fly in formation with the asteroid and to measure the deflection. The paper will therefore present the preliminary spacecraft system analysis and the preliminary transfer and navigation analysis.

KW - asteroid deflection

KW - asteroid exploitation

KW - asteroid tracking and deflection

KW - laser ablation

KW - proximity operations

UR - http://www.iaaconferences.org/pdc2013/?q=ipc

M3 - Paper

SP - Paper IAA-PDC13-04-22

ER -

Vasile M, Vetrisano M, Gibbings A, Garcia Yarnoz D, Sanchez Cuartielles J-P, Hopkins J-M et al. Light-touch2: a laser-based solution for the deflection, manipulation and exploitation of small asteroids. 2013. Paper presented at IAA Planetary Defense Conference, Flagstaff, United States.