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Astrodynamics

Article Title

Dynamical behavior of flexible net spacecraft for landing on asteroid

Keywords

asteroid, flexible net, energy dissipation, multibody dynamics, contact dynamics

Abstract

A new era of up-close asteroid exploration has been entered in the 21st century. However, the widely rugged terrain and microgravity field of asteroids still pose significant challenges to the stable landing of spacecraft and may even directly lead to the escape of the explorer. Owing to the substantial energy dissipation arising from the interaction among multiple bodies, the flexible net, which is a typical multibody system, may be capable of overcoming the above problems. In this study, a dynamical model was established to analyze the movement of the flexible net spacecraft (FNS) near and on the asteroid comprehensively. First, we investigated the dynamical environment of the target asteroid by combining the polyhedron method and spherical harmonics parametric surface modeling approach. Thereafter, we constructed the multibody dynamics model of the explorer using the linear Kelvin-Voigt method. Subsequently, we studied the collision process between the FNS and asteroid based on the spring-damper contact dynamics model. The trajectory and speed of the FNS could be derived by solving the system dynamic equations in parallel. Finally, we analyzed the deformation, descent, jumping motion, and surface movement process of the FNS during the movement. Consequently, a promising scheme is provided for asteroid exploration missions in the future.

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