DeepImpact

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Published on January 9, 2008

Author: Ubert

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Deep Impact: Are we prepared to handle an asteroid collision? :  Deep Impact: Are we prepared to handle an asteroid collision? Rahul Walawalkar Doctoral Candidate Carnegie Mellon University Outline:  Outline Introduction Assessing potential threat Quantifying the impact risks Mitigation options Risk communication plan Conclusions Policy recommendation Artist: Don Davis, NASA Slide3:  Fiction Facts:  Facts The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and The Aerospace Corporation has organized 2 conferences in titled “Planetary Defense Conference” in 2004 and 2007. Introduction:  Introduction Near Earth Objects Near Earth Asteroids Athens: between Earth and Venus Amors: between Earth and Mars Apollos: orbits cross that of Earth Near Earth Comets Potentially Hazardous Asteroids Source: Brig. Gen. Worden (USAF) ; “The NEO threat and Mitigation Issues”; Planetary Defense Conference 2004 Comparing Asteroid Risk: Low Probability - High Consequence event :  Comparing Asteroid Risk: Low Probability - High Consequence event Source: Chapman and David Morrison, Nature, Vol. 367, page 39 (1994) Evidence:  Evidence Shoemaker Levy Comet Impact Craters on Moon Meteor Crater, Arizona Source: http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/sl9/sl9.html Source: Philip Salzgeber; http://www.salzgeber.at/astro/moon/20040303_moon.html Source: Rahul Walawalkar; 2005 Locations of Impact Craters:  Source: Earth Impact Database, 2006. <http://www.unb.ca/passc/ImpactDatabase> (Accessed: 06/March/2007) Locations of Impact Craters Chicxulub, Mexico 17.5 KM (65 million years ago) Tunguska, Siberia 60 M (1908) Meteor Crater, AZ 40 M (50,000 years ago) Tookoonooka crater, Queensland, Aus (128 +/- 5 million years ago) Potentially Hazardous Near Earth Asteroids:  Potentially Hazardous Near Earth Asteroids 2029: Apophis will make the closest approach to Earth ever predicted for a sizable asteroid on 13 April. It will come close enough to be visible to the naked eye and the Earth's gravity will change its orbit. 2036: Apophis may impact Earth on 13 March – but only if it passes through a particular "keyhole" in 2029. The chances in Feb 2007 stand at 1 in 45,000 as compared to 1 in 233 in 2004. 2880: Asteroid 1950DA has the greatest known probability of a major impact, on 16 March. The present odds are 1 in 600, and at about 1.1 km across. Source: Chandler D; “Timeline: Comet and asteroid impacts”; 04 Sept 2006; www.newscientist.com And Chapman et Al; “Mitigation: Interfaces between NASA, Risk Managers, & the Public”; 2007 Planetary Defense Conference Impact Scenarios:  Impact Scenarios Source: NEO Impact Scenarios; Clark Chapman, Planetary Defense Conference, 2004 Assessing and Quantifying the Threat:  Assessing and Quantifying the Threat Assessing potential threat:  Assessing potential threat Various government studies have identified NEOs as significant risk to human and other forms of life on earth. NASA Spaceguard Report 1992 UK NEO Taskforce report 2000 NASA NEO Science Definition Team 2003 Spaceguard Survey (started 1998): Objective: Discover and track 90% of the Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) with diameter greater than 1 km by 2008 Most asteroids are being discovered by MITLincoln Lab (LINEAR) search program As of 2nd March 2007, NASA’s Near Earth Object program has listed 128 NEAs with potential for future impact. Source: David Morrison, “Overview of Impact Hazard”; NASA; 2004; NASA NEO Science Definition Team report 2003 and Wright et a; “WISE Observations of NEA”; Planetary Defense Conference 2007. NEO Discoveries:  NEO Discoveries Source: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/stats/ NEA Search Programs:  NEA Search Programs LINEAR, Socorro, NM NEAT, Maui, Hawaii Spacewatch Project, Tuscan, AZ Catalina Survey, N.S.W., Australia Source: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/programs/ and http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/stats/ Uncertainties about the NEO:  Uncertainties about the NEO Information about the NEO Density & Mass Size and shape Velocity and trajectory Structural integrity Capability to absorb energy Mechanical properties of its surface Information about Impact Location Assessing the Impact Probability Location depends on trajectory and speed of the NEO May get affected due to factors such as gravitational pull of other celestial objects Asteroid Impact Risk:  Asteroid Impact Risk Source: Strokes and Evans; “A study to determine feasibility of extending the search for NEOs”; The Planetary Defense Conference; 2004. Example Scenario:  Example Scenario Example Scenario:  Asteroid on collision course somewhere in South America Size: 300 Meters Density: 3600 kg/m3 Warning Time: 18 months Example Scenario Source: A scenario developed by Dr. Granger Morgan for qualifying examination at Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University; 2006 Assessing a potential impact:  Assessing a potential impact Atmospheric Entry: The projectile begins to breakup at an altitude of 59,600 meters The impact energy: 2.59 x 1019 Joules Or 6.18 x 103 MegaTons Crater Dimensions: Final Crater Diameter: 10.3 km & Final Crater Depth: 0.597 km Thermal Radiation: Time for maximum radiation: 0.176 seconds after impact Visible fireball radius: 5.91 km (The fireball appears 134 times larger than the sun ) Thermal Exposure: 1.23 x 108 Joules/m2 for 76.9 seconds Seismic Effects: Richter Scale Magnitude: 7.1 Source: Earth Impact Effects Program http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/impacteffects/ Artist: Don Davis, NASA Potential Impact Area:  Potential Impact Area Modified from the original population density map of South America from Center for International Earth Science Information network (CIESIN), Columbia University; http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/gpw/country.jsp?iso=ZAF Mitigation Options:  Mitigation Options Mitigation Options:  Mitigation Options Disruption: may not be feasible, nor suitable, depending on size and possible side effects Disruption would be probably preferable when dealing with an imminent impact of a small object. Deflection: may not be possible depending on size and the warning time Deflection would be preferable over disruption, but it may require a lot of energy and time. Either option needs to meet 3 criteria Certainty of desired result, Flexibility and Low Energy Source: Andrea Carusi – Keynote Presentation, Planetary Defense Conference, Orange County (USA), 23-26 February 2004 Intercepting an NEO:  Intercepting an NEO Source: Deflecting a Near Earth Object with Today’s Space Technology P.L. Smith, M.J. Barrera, E.T. Campbell, K.A. Feldman, G.E. Peterson, G.N. Smit; The Planetary Defense Conference; 2004 Interceptor Concept:  Interceptor Concept Source: Deflecting a Near Earth Object with Today’s Space Technology P.L. Smith, M.J. Barrera, E.T. Campbell, K.A. Feldman, G.E. Peterson, G.N. Smit; 2004 Mitigation Methods:  Mitigation Methods Nuclear Weapons Standoff mode Surface / Buried Explosion Chemical Explosives Surface / Buried Kinetic Impactors Gravitational Tractor Beamed Energy: Solar Collector Lasers Microwaves Mass Drivers Propulsion / Solar Sails Slide26:  A 'gravity tractor' (Image: Dan Durda, FIAAA/B612 Foundation) NASA Chemical Transfer Module (Source: Valentine; Planetary Defense Conference; 2004) B612 Mission Concept of “Dock & Tug” (Source: Durda; “The B612 Mission Design”; Planetary Defense Conference 2004) Solar Concentrator (Source: Kahle & Gritzner; The scientific requirements of future mitigation technology; 2002) Comparing Mitigation Methods: Diameter of NEA vs Warning Time:  Comparing Mitigation Methods: Diameter of NEA vs Warning Time Source: Rogers and Izenberg; “Comparison of the Efficiency of Various Asteroid Hazard Mitigation Techniques”; Planetary Defense Conference; 2007 Factors Critical for Successful Mitigation:  Factors Critical for Successful Mitigation Warning time: Early NEO detection will provide more time to plan the mission and implement proper deflection Delta V: the deflection velocity required to miss the Earth Speed of interceptor: A faster rocket will take less time to reach the NEO, thus giving more time for deflection. Distance for the interceptor to reach the NEO: As the NEO and earth are moving in 2 different orbits, we need to carefully plan the launch date, so that the interceptor needs to travel minimum distance. Risk Communication:  Risk Communication Need for Risk Communication Plan:  Need for Risk Communication Plan Identifying appropriate Stakeholders / Civic organizations / Government agencies Warning time required for proper planning and implementation of evacuation Post warning information management to avoid panic and misinformation Post Impact Mitigation requirements such as trauma and psychological issues Slide31:  Source: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/torino_scale.html How the Torino Scale Works?:  How the Torino Scale Works? Source: Chodas and Chesley; “The evolution of impact probabilities for potential earth impactors”; Planetary Defense Conference; 2004 Conclusions and Policy Recommendations:  Conclusions and Policy Recommendations Conclusions:  Conclusions Unlike other natural disasters, we may have the capability of mitigating devastation due to a potential asteroid impact No formal process in place for forwarding notice of a threat to agencies responsible for civil defense. Most of the civil defense agencies do not have any plans for responding to such threat. No national or international organizations or agencies are responsible for taking steps to mitigate the problem. Need to initiate efforts to develop an international collaboration for detection & potential mitigation plans. Policy Recommendations:  Policy Recommendations Increase funding for developing NEO detection programs to track objects larger than 140 M. Assemble experts committee comprising of experts from different countries and develop emergency protocols. Develop & test mitigation plans so that we can respond appropriately in case of a short warning period. Develop disaster management planning and risk communication efforts. Involve universities in research of various aspects of the problem (statistical analysis, social and behavioral aspects of impact etc.) Educate various planning agencies of the potential and prepare public educational material. Involve media in creating awareness and avoiding unnecessary public fear. Acknowledgement:  Author would like to thank Dr. Jay Apt and Dr. Granger Morgan of Carnegie Mellon University for their invaluable guidance which contributed to this research. Author is also grateful to the Institution of Engineering and Technology for organizing this series of presentations as part of the Write Around the World Competition. Acknowledgement Sensitivity Analysis :  Sensitivity Analysis

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