Nanosatellite missions represent a promising option for the exploration of the near-Earth asteroid population since they provide low-cost versatile platforms for scientific observations. This paper describes the preliminary orbital and navigation analyses for the DustCube mission, which was pre-selected to reach the binary asteroid system Didymos on-board ESA’s AIM spacecraft. Possible candidate orbits that exploit the binary nature of the system are identified and traded off to produce a preliminary concept of operations. The overall feasibility of the proposed scenario is then addressed by integrating the spacecraft trajectories in a realistic dynamical environment, evaluating their sensitivity to state errors, and estimating the accuracy of the orbit determination system. Preliminary results suggest that autonomous navigation of a Cubesat platform within a binary asteroid system is technically feasible. The proposed solution, which combines an initial parking orbit at the L4 equilibrium point with a Distant Retrograde Orbit for proximity operations, is shown to be consistent with the estimated orbit determination accuracy and allows to fulfil the mission requirements.

Preliminary orbital analysis for a CubeSat mission to the Didymos binary asteroid system

Lasagni Manghi, Riccardo
;
Modenini, Dario;Zannoni, Marco;Tortora, Paolo
2018

Abstract

Nanosatellite missions represent a promising option for the exploration of the near-Earth asteroid population since they provide low-cost versatile platforms for scientific observations. This paper describes the preliminary orbital and navigation analyses for the DustCube mission, which was pre-selected to reach the binary asteroid system Didymos on-board ESA’s AIM spacecraft. Possible candidate orbits that exploit the binary nature of the system are identified and traded off to produce a preliminary concept of operations. The overall feasibility of the proposed scenario is then addressed by integrating the spacecraft trajectories in a realistic dynamical environment, evaluating their sensitivity to state errors, and estimating the accuracy of the orbit determination system. Preliminary results suggest that autonomous navigation of a Cubesat platform within a binary asteroid system is technically feasible. The proposed solution, which combines an initial parking orbit at the L4 equilibrium point with a Distant Retrograde Orbit for proximity operations, is shown to be consistent with the estimated orbit determination accuracy and allows to fulfil the mission requirements.
Lasagni Manghi, Riccardo; Modenini, Dario; Zannoni, Marco; Tortora, Paolo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/632497
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