DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 41. Future Missions and Instruments
Poster, Highlighted on, Friday, September 5, 2003, 3:30-6:00pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

[Previous] | [Session 41] | [Next]

[41.11] Cost-Effective NEO Characterization Using Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP)

R.W. Dissly, R. Reinert, S. Mitchell (Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.)

We present a cost-effective multiple NEO rendezvous mission design optimized around the capabilities of Ballís 200-kg NEOX Solar Electric Propelled microsatellite.

The NEOX spacecraft is 3-axis stabilized with better-than 1 milliradian pointing accuracy to serve as an excellent imaging platform; its DSN compatible telecommunications subsystem can support a 6.4-kbps downlink rate at 3 AU earth range. The spacecraft mass is <200kg at launch to allow launch as a cost-effective secondary payload. It uses proven SEP technology to provide 12km/s of Delta-V, which enables multiple rendezvousí in a single mission.

Cost-effectiveness is optimized by launch as a secondary payload (e.g., Ariane-5 ASAP) or as a multiple manifest on a single dedicated launch vehicle (e.g., 4 on a Delta-II 2925). Following separation from the LV, we describe a candidate mission profile that minimizes cost by using the spacecraftís 12km/s of SEP Delta-V to allow orbiting up to 4 separate NEOís. Orbiting as opposed to flying by augments the missionís science return by providing the NEO mass and by allowing multiple phase angle imaging.

The NEOX Spacecraft has the capability to support a 20kg payload drawing 100W average during SEP cruise, with >1kW available during the NEO orbital phase when the SEP thrusters are not powered. We will present a candidate payload suite that includes a visible/NIR imager, a laser altimeter, and a set of small, self-righting surface probes that can be used to assess the geophysical state of the object surface and near-surface environments. The surface probe payload notionally includes a set of cameras for imaging the body surface at mm-scale resolution, an accelerometer package to measure surface mechanical properties upon probe impact, a Langmuir probe to measure the electrostatic gradient immediately above the object surface, and an explosive charge that can be remotely detonated at the end of the surface mission to excavate an artificial crater that can be remotely observed from the orbiting spacecraft.

[Previous] | [Session 41] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.