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Numerical Simulations of Laboratory-Scale, Hypervelocity-Impact Experiments for Asteroid-Deflection Code Validation
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  • Tane Perry Remington,
  • J. Michael Owen,
  • Akiko M Nakamura,
  • Paul L. Miller,
  • Megan Bruck Syal
Tane Perry Remington
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Corresponding Author:remington6@llnl.gov

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J. Michael Owen
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (DOE)
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Akiko M Nakamura
Kobe University
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Paul L. Miller
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
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Megan Bruck Syal
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
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Asteroids and comets have the potential to impact Earth and cause damage at the local to global scale. Deflection or disruption of a potentially hazardous object could prevent future Earth impacts, but due to our limited ability to perform experiments directly on asteroids, our understanding of the process relies upon large-scale hydrodynamic simulations. Related simulations must be vetted through code validation by benchmarking against relevant laboratory-scale hypervelocity-impact experiments. To this end, we compare simulation results from Spheral, an Adaptive Smoothed-Particle Hydrodynamics (ASPH) code, to the fragment-mass and velocity data from the 1991 two-stage light gas-gun impact experiment on a basalt sphere target, conducted at Kyoto University by Nakamura and Fujiwara. We find that the simulations are sensitive to the selected strain models, strength models and material parameters. We find that, by using appropriate choices for these models in conjunction with well-constrained material parameters, the simulations closely resemble with the experimental results. Numerical codes implementing these model and parameter selections may provide new insight into the formation of asteroid families (Michel et al., 2015) and predictions of deflection for the Double Asteroid Redirection (DART) mission (Stickle et al., 2017).
Apr 2020Published in Earth and Space Science volume 7 issue 4. 10.1029/2018EA000474