On testing laser ablation processes for asteroid deflection

Alison Gibbings, John-Mark Hopkins, David Burns, Massimiliano Vasile

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Abstract

Laser surface ablation has been theoretically demonstrated to be an advantageous method in the potential mitigation and deflection of Near Earth Asteroids. However to fully verify this approach a series of experiments were performed that examined the development of the ejecta plume induced by each ablation event. This included the flow rate, velocity and dispersion as a function of the target material’s composition. The rate of degradation onto optical surfaces was also assessed. The results demonstrated the sensitivity of the ablation process to the specific laser characteristics and properties of the chosen target material. This is relative to the focal point of the laser, the volumetric removal of the ejected material, the material phase changes within the ablation volume and the dispersion of the ejecta plume.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2011
EventIAA Planetary Defense Conference, Protecting Earth from Asteroids: From threat to Action - Bucharest, , Romania
Duration: 9 May 201112 May 2011

Conference

ConferenceIAA Planetary Defense Conference, Protecting Earth from Asteroids: From threat to Action
CountryRomania
CityBucharest,
Period9/05/1112/05/11

Keywords

  • laser ablation
  • asteroid deflection

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    Gibbings, A., Hopkins, J-M., Burns, D., & Vasile, M. (2011). On testing laser ablation processes for asteroid deflection. Paper presented at IAA Planetary Defense Conference, Protecting Earth from Asteroids: From threat to Action, Bucharest, , Romania.