Structrual and Superficial Evolutions

Structural and superficial evolutions of an irregularly shaped small body. 


Asteroid Itokawa with surface contourQuantitative characterization of the surface of a small body is a key branch of small body exploration projects. Sample returning and asteroid mining missions require advanced knowledge of dynamical and geophysical processes that have induced the currently observed, unique features. In our lab, we develop numerical and analytical tools for quantifying the various surface conditions.Powerful investigations of the current asteroid conditions require innovative methodologies that quantify its internal structure. 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Our lab pioneers investigations of the internal structure of an irregularly shaped small body, taking into account its complex shape condition. We incorporate the constitutive models applicable to geological materials to model deformation processes of a small body, using analytical structural models and finite element analysis tools. A key discovery was that our finite element model precisely predicted the locations of the straight cracks observed on the neck of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In these projects, we combine astronautical skills with geophysical knowledge to find new insights into the evolution of these asteroids. We apply our knowledge and methods to asteroid mining and defense.

Last Updated: 9/13/17 11:14 AM