In 2021, the DART spacecraft will be launched by NASA to intercept the binary system Didymos and impact the moonlet (Dimorphos), to test the effectiveness of kinetic impactors for the deviation of hazardous asteroids’ trajectories. The impact is expected to generate a cloud of particles, whose study could provide valuable data about asteroid's properties and impact models. Observations from ground to characterize ejecta and plume evolution after impact would be possible, but the resulting quality would be significantly lower than a short-range imaging. In this framework, ASI (Italian Space Agency) and NASA started a collaboration to embark on the US DART vehicle the LICIA (Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging Asteroid) 6U CubeSat as a piggyback payload. LICIA is devoted to grasp science data by imaging the ejecta plume after the impact, and observe Dimorphos surface while flying by the binary system. The Italian consortium involved in the mission sees ARGOTEC for the platform development, and INAF, Politecnico di Milano and Università di Bologna to cover the mission science, trajectory design and orbit de-termination tasks, respectively. The paper focuses on the mission analysis and maneuvers design, strongly driven by the science return, under the tight constraints enforced by the platform. In particular, it describes the preliminary procedure followed to derive trajectory constraints and to select the best option for the flyby. Despite the mission is still under development, and subjected to frequent updates of several parameters, the final performances derived in this paper maintain their validity as they represent the desired target values for the mission.

Challenges in LICIA Cubesat trajectory design to support DART mission science

Capannolo, Andrea;Zanotti, Giovanni;Lavagna, Michèle;
2021

Abstract

In 2021, the DART spacecraft will be launched by NASA to intercept the binary system Didymos and impact the moonlet (Dimorphos), to test the effectiveness of kinetic impactors for the deviation of hazardous asteroids’ trajectories. The impact is expected to generate a cloud of particles, whose study could provide valuable data about asteroid's properties and impact models. Observations from ground to characterize ejecta and plume evolution after impact would be possible, but the resulting quality would be significantly lower than a short-range imaging. In this framework, ASI (Italian Space Agency) and NASA started a collaboration to embark on the US DART vehicle the LICIA (Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging Asteroid) 6U CubeSat as a piggyback payload. LICIA is devoted to grasp science data by imaging the ejecta plume after the impact, and observe Dimorphos surface while flying by the binary system. The Italian consortium involved in the mission sees ARGOTEC for the platform development, and INAF, Politecnico di Milano and Università di Bologna to cover the mission science, trajectory design and orbit de-termination tasks, respectively. The paper focuses on the mission analysis and maneuvers design, strongly driven by the science return, under the tight constraints enforced by the platform. In particular, it describes the preliminary procedure followed to derive trajectory constraints and to select the best option for the flyby. Despite the mission is still under development, and subjected to frequent updates of several parameters, the final performances derived in this paper maintain their validity as they represent the desired target values for the mission.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1162008
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