Low-energy near-Earth asteroid capture using momentum exchange strategies

Tan, M., McInnes, C. R. and Ceriotti, M. (2018) Low-energy near-Earth asteroid capture using momentum exchange strategies. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 41(3), pp. 632-643. (doi: 10.2514/1.g002957)

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This paper investigates the concept of capturing small near-Earth asteroids into bound periodic orbits at the Sun–Earth L1L1 and L2L2 points using momentum exchange. A small asteroid is first maneuvered to engineer a fly-by with a larger asteroid. Two strategies are then considered: when the small asteroid approaches the vicinity of the large asteroid, it will either impact the large asteroid or connect to it with a tether. In both strategies, momentum exchange can be used to effect the capture of one of the asteroids. Then, a two-impulse Lambert arc is used to design a postencounter transfer trajectory to the stable manifolds of the Sun–Earth L1L1 or L2L2 points. A selection strategy for candidate asteroids is proposed by considering both the deflection windows for capturing asteroids and the size of the asteroids. By investigating the outcome of the impact on the small asteroid, or the tension of the tether, the maximum velocity increment available using these momentum exchange strategies is investigated. Finally, a detailed design procedure is presented, which is then optimized using a global optimization strategy. The results show that, in principle, capture strategies using momentum exchange have the potential to deliver low-energy capture of asteroids although significant practical challenges remain.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Control and Systems Engineering, Space and Planetary Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Aerospace Engineering
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ceriotti, Dr Matteo and Tan, Minghu and McInnes, Professor Colin
Authors: Tan, M., McInnes, C. R., and Ceriotti, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Publisher:American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
ISSN (Online):1533-3884
Published Online:19 October 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authorsthe American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc
First Published:First published in Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics 41(3):632-343
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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