Event Title

Asteroid Prospector

Session

Technical Session VI: Strength in Numbers

SSC13-VI-7.pdf (6510 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

This paper presents the overall design of a small reusable spacecraft capable of ying to an asteroid from low earth orbit, operating near the surface of the asteroid and returning samples to low earth orbit. The spacecraft is in a 6U CubeSat form factor and designed to visit near asteroids as far as 1.3 AU from the sun. Deep space missions are traditionally large and expensive, requiring considerable manpower for operations, use of the Deep Space network for navigation, and costly but slow rad-hard electronics. Several new technologies make this mission possible and a_ordable in such a small form factor: a 3 cm ion engine from Busek for the low-thrust spirals, an autonomous optical navigation system, precision miniature reaction wheels, high performance and nontoxic green propellant (HGPG) thrusters, and Hon- eywell's new Dependable Multiprocessor technology for radiation tolerance. A complete spacecraft design is considered and the paper includes details of the control and guidance algorithms. Simulation results are presented for an example mission to Apophis, including: the earth outward spiral, sun-centered spiral to rendezvous, and proximity operations with the asteroid.

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Aug 13th, 5:30 PM

Asteroid Prospector

This paper presents the overall design of a small reusable spacecraft capable of ying to an asteroid from low earth orbit, operating near the surface of the asteroid and returning samples to low earth orbit. The spacecraft is in a 6U CubeSat form factor and designed to visit near asteroids as far as 1.3 AU from the sun. Deep space missions are traditionally large and expensive, requiring considerable manpower for operations, use of the Deep Space network for navigation, and costly but slow rad-hard electronics. Several new technologies make this mission possible and a_ordable in such a small form factor: a 3 cm ion engine from Busek for the low-thrust spirals, an autonomous optical navigation system, precision miniature reaction wheels, high performance and nontoxic green propellant (HGPG) thrusters, and Hon- eywell's new Dependable Multiprocessor technology for radiation tolerance. A complete spacecraft design is considered and the paper includes details of the control and guidance algorithms. Simulation results are presented for an example mission to Apophis, including: the earth outward spiral, sun-centered spiral to rendezvous, and proximity operations with the asteroid.