Nuclear cycler: an incremental approach to the deflection of asteroids

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Abstract

This paper introduces a novel deflection approach based on nuclear explosions: the nuclear cycler. The idea is to combine the effectiveness of nuclear explosions with the controllability and redundancy offered by slow push methods within an incremental deflection strategy. The paper will present an extended model for single nuclear stand-off explosions in the proximity of elongated ellipsoidal asteroids, and a family of natural formation orbits that allows the spacecraft to deploy multiple bombs while being shielded by the asteroid during the detonation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1805-1819
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Volume57
Issue number8
Early online date10 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • asteroid deflection
  • astrodynamics
  • planetary defence
  • nuclear interceptor

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