Picture of a sphere with binary code

Making Strathclyde research discoverable to the world...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. It exposes Strathclyde's world leading Open Access research to many of the world's leading resource discovery tools, and from there onto the screens of researchers around the world.

Explore Strathclyde Open Access research content

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.

[img]
Preview
PDF (strathprints015801.pdf)
strathprints015801.pdf

Download (501kB) | Preview

Abstract

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.