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Numerical simulations of the contact between the lander MASCOT and a regolith-covered surface

Maurel, Clara and Michel, Patrick and Biele, Jens and Ballouz, Ronald-Louis and Thuillet, Florian (2018) Numerical simulations of the contact between the lander MASCOT and a regolith-covered surface. Advances in Space Research, 62 (8), pp. 2099-2124. Elsevier. ISSN 0273-1177

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asr.2017.05.029


In 2018, the mother spacecraft of the Hayabusa2 mission will release the lander MASCOT above the surface of the asteroid (162173) Ryugu. The lander will impact the regolith layer of the asteroid at low speed. While the descent trajectory of MASCOT is well determined before its release, its behavior once it touches the surface of Ryugu remains a great unknown. Predictions of the contact properties as a function of the assumed regolith properties and landing geometry (e.g., energy after bounce if not zero, collision duration. . .) are extremely valuable in terms of landing site selection and interpretation of the data acquired during and after landing. In this study, we use the N-body code pkdgrav to perform more than 480 numerical simulations of the first contact between the lander MASCOT and a granular medium representing the regolith layer. We explore the influence of several input parameters on the outcomes of the contact. These parameters are related to the lander, the grains of the regolith and the layer thickness. We identify a certain number of Trends for the lander’s behavior, depending on the configuration of the contact, and perform a statistical analysis of the most critical Output parameters. We also investigate the ejected material and show that, in addition to the data acquired from the lander itself, a postimpact visualization of the contact site(s) may help to infer non-observable properties of the regolith layer. Our results provide some insights on several input parameters that are implemented in the study of MASCOT’s whole trajectory. This work is a starting Point of a much broader study, aiming to explore as widely as possible the parameter space associated with a low-speed impact of a lander onto a regolith layer.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/125062/
Document Type:Article
Title:Numerical simulations of the contact between the lander MASCOT and a regolith-covered surface
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Maurel, ClaraMassachusetts Inst. of Technology & Université cóte d'Azur, CNRSUNSPECIFIED
Michel, PatrickObservatoire de la Côte d’Azur, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Biele, JensJens.Biele (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Ballouz, Ronald-LouisUniversity of MarylandUNSPECIFIED
Thuillet, FlorianUniversité Cote d'Azur, CNRSUNSPECIFIED
Date:August 2018
Journal or Publication Title:Advances in Space Research
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 2099-2124
Elsevier, VerlagUNSPECIFIED
Keywords:MASCOT, regolith-covered surface
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):Project MASCOT (Instruments)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training > User center for space experiments (MUSC)
Deposited By: Herrmann, Astrid
Deposited On:17 Dec 2018 17:12
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:27

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