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PANIC – A surface science package for the in situ characterization of a near-Earth asteroid

Schindler, Karsten and Thomas, Cristina A. and Reddy, Vishnu and Weber, Andreas and Gruska, Stefan and Fasoulas, Stefanos (2011) PANIC – A surface science package for the in situ characterization of a near-Earth asteroid. Acta Astronautica, 68 (11-12), pp. 1800-1810. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2011.01.012 .

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Abstract

This paper presents the results of a mission concept study for an autonomous micro-scale surface lander also referred to as PANIC – the Pico Autonomous Near-Earth Asteroid In Situ Characterizer. The lander is based on the shape of a regular tetrahedron with an edge length of 35 cm, has a total mass of approximately 12 kg and utilizes hopping as a locomotion mechanism in microgravity. PANIC houses four scientific instruments in its proposed baseline configuration which enable the in situ characterization of an asteroid. It is carried by an interplanetary probe to its target and released to the surface after rendezvous. Detailed estimates of all critical subsystem parameters were derived to demonstrate the feasibility of this concept. The study illustrates that a small, simple landing element is a viable alternative to complex traditional lander concepts, adding a significant science return to any near-Earth asteroid (NEA) mission while meeting tight mass budget constraints.

Document Type:Article
Title:PANIC – A surface science package for the in situ characterization of a near-Earth asteroid
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Schindler, Karstenkarsten.schindler@dlr.de
Thomas, Cristina A.Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Reddy, VishnuUniversity of North Dakota
Weber, AndreasTechnische Universität Dresden
Gruska, StefanTechnische Universität Dresden
Fasoulas, StefanosTechnische Universität Dresden
Date:23 February 2011
Journal or Publication Title:Acta Astronautica
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:68
DOI:10.1016/j.actaastro.2011.01.012
Page Range:pp. 1800-1810
Publisher:Elsevier
Status:Published
Keywords:Asteroid; NEA; Exploration; Lander; In situ; Small spacecraft
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Asteroiden und Kometen (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Asteroids and Comets
Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Sensor Systems
Deposited By: Karsten Schindler
Deposited On:11 May 2011 14:13
Last Modified:26 Mar 2013 13:28

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