Passive sorting of asteroid material using solar radiation pressure

Daniel Garcia Yarnoz, Joan-Pau Sanchez Cuartielles, Colin McInnes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

1 Citation (Scopus)
140 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding dust dynamics in asteroid environments is key for future science missions to asteroids and, in the long-term, also for asteroid exploitation. This paper proposes a novel way of manipulating asteroid material by means of solar radiation pressure (SRP). We envisage a method for passively sorting material as a function of its grain size where SRP is used as a passive in-situ ‘mass spec-trometer’. The analysis shows that this novel method allows an effective sorting of regolith material. This has immediate applications for sample return, and in-situ resource utilisation to separate different regolith particle sizes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2013
Event23rd AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Conference - Kauai, Hawaii, United States
Duration: 10 Feb 201314 Feb 2013


Conference23rd AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityKauai, Hawaii


  • asteroid resources
  • solar radiation pressure (SRP)
  • asteroid exploitation
  • dust grain
  • mass spectrometry


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