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On the consequences of a fragmentation due to a NEO mitigation strategy

Sanchez Cuartielles, Joan-Pau and Vasile, Massimiliano and Radice, Gianmarco (2008) On the consequences of a fragmentation due to a NEO mitigation strategy. In: 59th International Astronautical Congress, 2008-09-29 - 2008-10-03, Glasgow, Scotland.

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The fragmentation of an Earth threatening asteroid as a result of a hazard mitigation mission is examined in this paper. The minimum required energy for a successful impulsive deflection of a threatening object is computed and compared with the energy required to break-up a small size asteroid. The fragmentation of an asteroid that underwent an impulsive deflection such as a kinetic impact or a nuclear explosion is a very plausible outcome in the light of this work. Thus a model describing the stochastic evolution of the cloud of fragments is described. The stochasticity of the fragmentation is given by a Gaussian probability distribution that describes the initial relative velocities of each fragment of the asteroid, while the size distribution is expressed through a power law function. The fragmentation model is applied to Apophis as illustrative example. If a barely catastrophic disruption (i.e. the largest fragment is half the size of the original asteroid) occurs 10 to 20 years prior to the Earth encounter only a reduction from 50% to 80% of the potential damage is achieved for the Apophis test case.

Item type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
ID code: 15801
Keywords: near earth object, asteroids, mitigation stategy, kinetic impact, nuclear explosion, fragmentation, apophis test, Mechanical engineering and machinery, Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics, Aerospace Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology, Computational Mechanics, Modelling and Simulation
Subjects: Technology > Mechanical engineering and machinery
Technology > Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Department: Faculty of Engineering > Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Depositing user: Ms Katrina May
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2010 13:28
Last modified: 26 Jul 2015 07:31
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