37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 14 Asteroid Discovery and Dynamics
Poster, Monday, September 5, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Foyer

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[14.05] Optimal Deflection of NEOs on Collision Course with the Earth

E. Kuehrt, R. Kahle, G. Hahn (DLR)

The collision of a near-Earth asteroid or comet (NEO) with the Earth is a rare but disastrous catastrophe. To mitigate the impact risk numerous technologies have been proposed for either the deflection of NEOs by changing their orbital velocity or for the destruction of NEOs by means of high energetic collisions or explosions. From our perspective, the second option is not recommended because of the unknown interior of any particular hazardous NEO.

We have improved the model by Carusi et al. (2002, Icarus 159, 417-422) who presented the first real n-body analysis but with the restriction of velocity change \Delta v along the track of orbital motion only (parallel attack). In our approach we optimize both \Delta v and the attack angle.

In this paper we describe our model and apply it to fictitious asteroids with typical NEO orbital parameters. We compare our results with those of the parallel attack. Finally, we analyse the optimal \Delta v required to deflect the possible impactor 2004 MN4.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.