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Designs of multi-spacecraft swarms for the deflection of apophis by solar sublimation

Maddock, Christie and Vasile, M. and McInnes, C.R. and Radice, Gianmarco and Summerer, Leopold (2009) Designs of multi-spacecraft swarms for the deflection of apophis by solar sublimation. In: 1st IAA Planetary Defence Conference: Protecting Earth from Asteroids, 2009-04-27 - 2009-04-30.

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Abstract

This paper presents two conceptual designs of multi-spacecraft swarms used for deflecting Apophis. Each spacecraft is equipped with a solar concentrator assembly, which focuses the solar light, and a beaming system that projects a beam of light onto the surface of the asteroid. When the beams from each spacecraft are superimposed, the temperature on the surface is enough to sublimate the rock, creating a debris plume with enough force to slowly alter the orbit of Apophis. An overview of the dynamics, control and navigation strategies are presented along with preliminary system budgets.