This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

20 September 2009

Paper: "Trajectory Diversion of an Earth-Threatening Asteroid via Massive Tether-Ballast System"

Paper from AIAA Space 2009 Conference on asteroid mitigation technique using tether and ballast mass. Abstract follows...

"Trajectory Diversion of an Earth-Threatening Asteroid via Massive Tether-Ballast System"
David B. French, Andre P. Mazzoleniy
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27695

Researchers have provided a large volume of information related to the location and mitigation of Earth-threatening asteroids. Several alternatives have been proposed for the deviation of such asteroids. This paper focuses on a mitigation technique that was not included among the alternatives listed in the report, namely the use of a long tether and ballast mass to divert an asteroid. In a previous study, such a tether was modeled as massless and rigid. For this study, it was desired to relax this assumption, so a model was developed to include tether mass. This paper shows that the results using the massive model validate qualitatively the results of the previous study which demonstrate that a tether-ballast system can be used to successfully divert an Earth-threatening asteroid.

Link: AIAA Paper Preview (PDF)

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