Thesis Proposal Presentation by Chris Church on Nov. 9th
Space Studies master’s student, Chris Church, will give his thesis proposal presentation as follows. Please mark your calendars and show your support by attending.
When: Friday, November 9th at 2:00 pm
Where: Ryan Hall, Room 111
Title: Characterization of Small Near-Earth Objects Through In Situ Measurements
Topic: There are more than 9000 known Near-Earth Objects (NEO) and more are continually being discovered. The majority of these are small asteroids less than 1 kilometer in diameter. Despite their numbers, little is known about the internal structure of these objects. Many are considered "rubble piles" while others may be shattered bodies, or even monoliths.
Ground-based observations of NEO are not suited for extensive studies of the internal with small spacecraft structure of these objects. Detailed information regarding the internal structure of an NEO requires in situ observations. The research that I am proposing focuses on methods and payload elements for small spacecraft that can be used to characterize the internal structure of small NEO. This type of characterization has applications in several areas; solar system evolution, exploitation of asteroid resources, human exploration, and threat mitigation.
I am proposing to investigate the use of Radio Science, Multiple Spacecraft, and Radar Tomography to study the internal structure of NEO. Constraints will be imposed on the spacecraft and the required payload elements. The payload elements required for each of these methods will be studied and the capabilities and limitations of each will be quantified. Additionally, upper and lower bounds will be placed on the size of the targeted NEO and the conditions for in situ observation will be quantified. An analysis of the resulting data set will be conducted to determine which methods and payload elements are suitable for constraining the internal structure of small NEO using small spacecraft.