Asteroid Landing With a Solar Sail: Lander Deployment and Sail Descent to Surface

Moore, I. , McInnes, C. R. and Ceriotti, M. (2021) Asteroid Landing With a Solar Sail: Lander Deployment and Sail Descent to Surface. In: 31st AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 01-04 Feb 2021, (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

A critical phase of any mission which aims to interact with the surface of an asteroid is in landing. This can be done via landing of the main spacecraft, or by the deployment of separate landers. In this work, the spacecraft will be propelled by a solar sail. The solar sail is capable of delivering high energy missions, given the unlimited momentum available from the Sun. The performance of the sail is dependent on the area to mass ratio of the sail/spacecraft combination. The separation of a significant mass from the main spacecraft will result in a change in performance of the solar sail. This changing performance will affect the dynamics of the solar sail in the near-asteroid environment. This work will investigate the effects of the solar sail in the dynamics of the near asteroid space, as well as the instantaneous change of dynamics at lander separation. Then, work will show the deployment of a lander from various regions of the problem, providing a probability analysis of the success of the lander reaching the surface with a ballistic deployment from each region. Deployment from the region interior to the potential ridge line is found to have the greatest success.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Status:Accepted for Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ceriotti, Dr Matteo and McInnes, Professor Colin and Moore, Iain
Authors: Moore, I., McInnes, C. R., and Ceriotti, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 American Astronautical Society
First Published:First published in 31st AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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