Theoretical peak performance and optical constraints for the deflection of an S-type asteroid with a continuous wave laser

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Abstract

This paper presents a theoretical model to evaluate the thrust generated by a continuous wave (CW) laser, operating at moderate intensity (<100GW/m2), ablating an S-type asteroid made of Forsterite. The key metric to assess the performance of the laser system is the thrust coupling coefficient which is given by the ratio between thrust and associated optical power. Three different models are developed in the paper: a one dimensional steady state model, a full 3D steady state model and a one dimensional model accounting for transient effects resulting from the tumbling motion of the asteroid. The results obtained with these models are used to derive key requirements and constraints on the laser system that allow approaching the ideal performance in a realistic case.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1353-1367
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Volume59
Issue number5
Early online date23 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Dec 2016

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Asteroids
Continuous wave lasers
continuous wave lasers
asteroids
deflection
asteroid
laser
thrust
tumbling motion
Barreling
forsterite
Lasers
coupling coefficients
lasers
requirements

Keywords

  • laser ablation
  • asteroid
  • deflection
  • continuous wave laser
  • planetary defense
  • impulse coupling

Cite this

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title = "Theoretical peak performance and optical constraints for the deflection of an S-type asteroid with a continuous wave laser",
abstract = "This paper presents a theoretical model to evaluate the thrust generated by a continuous wave (CW) laser, operating at moderate intensity (<100GW/m2), ablating an S-type asteroid made of Forsterite. The key metric to assess the performance of the laser system is the thrust coupling coefficient which is given by the ratio between thrust and associated optical power. Three different models are developed in the paper: a one dimensional steady state model, a full 3D steady state model and a one dimensional model accounting for transient effects resulting from the tumbling motion of the asteroid. The results obtained with these models are used to derive key requirements and constraints on the laser system that allow approaching the ideal performance in a realistic case.",
keywords = "laser ablation, asteroid, deflection, continuous wave laser, planetary defense, impulse coupling",
author = "Nicolas Thiry and Massimiliano Vasile",
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T1 - Theoretical peak performance and optical constraints for the deflection of an S-type asteroid with a continuous wave laser

AU - Thiry, Nicolas

AU - Vasile, Massimiliano

PY - 2016/12/23

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N2 - This paper presents a theoretical model to evaluate the thrust generated by a continuous wave (CW) laser, operating at moderate intensity (<100GW/m2), ablating an S-type asteroid made of Forsterite. The key metric to assess the performance of the laser system is the thrust coupling coefficient which is given by the ratio between thrust and associated optical power. Three different models are developed in the paper: a one dimensional steady state model, a full 3D steady state model and a one dimensional model accounting for transient effects resulting from the tumbling motion of the asteroid. The results obtained with these models are used to derive key requirements and constraints on the laser system that allow approaching the ideal performance in a realistic case.

AB - This paper presents a theoretical model to evaluate the thrust generated by a continuous wave (CW) laser, operating at moderate intensity (<100GW/m2), ablating an S-type asteroid made of Forsterite. The key metric to assess the performance of the laser system is the thrust coupling coefficient which is given by the ratio between thrust and associated optical power. Three different models are developed in the paper: a one dimensional steady state model, a full 3D steady state model and a one dimensional model accounting for transient effects resulting from the tumbling motion of the asteroid. The results obtained with these models are used to derive key requirements and constraints on the laser system that allow approaching the ideal performance in a realistic case.

KW - laser ablation

KW - asteroid

KW - deflection

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KW - planetary defense

KW - impulse coupling

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