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On the deflection of asteroids with mirrors

Vasile, Massimiliano and Maddock, Christie (2010) On the deflection of asteroids with mirrors. Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy, 107 (1-2). pp. 265-284. ISSN 0923-2958

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Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of an asteroid deflection method based on multiple solar concentrators. A model of the deflection through the sublimation of the surface material of an asteroid is presented, with simulation results showing the achievable orbital deflection with, and without, accounting for the effects of mirror contamination due to the ejected debris plume. A second model with simulation results is presented analyzing an enhancement of the Yarkovsky effect, which provides a significant deflection even when the surface temperature is not high enough to sublimate. Finally the dynamical model of solar concentrators in the proximity of an irregular celestial body are discussed, together with a Lyapunov-based controller to maintain the spacecraft concentrators at a required distance from the asteroid.