Presentation Title

Laser Ablation Propulsion of Comets

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

Surge 172

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

Twenty-five million meteors enter Earth’s atmosphere daily. Of those over 100 m in diameter, only around 1% are comets. However, because of their unconventional orbits, they are much more difficult to track and deflect. To resolve this issue, our group has proposed the Directed System for Targeting Asteroids and exploration (DE-STAR). The system functions by directing optical laser energy on the target’s surface, increasing its temperature until it begins to evaporate. As the material leaves the surface, it imparts a momentum to the body, shifting its orbit. This process is called laser ablation propulsion. This presentation will discuss the thermodynamics, intricacies, and efficacies of laser ablation propulsion on comets. Our conclusion is that, while the orbital mechanics of comet deflection are unfavorable, they are thermodynamically easier to deflect than asteroids

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Nov 12th, 10:15 AM Nov 12th, 10:30 AM

Laser Ablation Propulsion of Comets

Surge 172

Twenty-five million meteors enter Earth’s atmosphere daily. Of those over 100 m in diameter, only around 1% are comets. However, because of their unconventional orbits, they are much more difficult to track and deflect. To resolve this issue, our group has proposed the Directed System for Targeting Asteroids and exploration (DE-STAR). The system functions by directing optical laser energy on the target’s surface, increasing its temperature until it begins to evaporate. As the material leaves the surface, it imparts a momentum to the body, shifting its orbit. This process is called laser ablation propulsion. This presentation will discuss the thermodynamics, intricacies, and efficacies of laser ablation propulsion on comets. Our conclusion is that, while the orbital mechanics of comet deflection are unfavorable, they are thermodynamically easier to deflect than asteroids