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Modified granular impact force laws for the OSIRIS-REx touchdown on the surface of asteroid (101955) Bennu

Abstract : The OSIRIS-REx mission collected a sample from the surface of the asteroid (101955) Bennu in 2020 October. Here, we study the impact of the OSIRIS-REx Touch-and-Go Sampling Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) interacting with the surface of an asteroid in the framework of granular physics. Traditional approaches to estimating the penetration depth of a projectile into a granular medium include force laws and scaling relationships formulated from laboratory experiments in terrestrial-gravity conditions. However, it is unclear that these formulations extend to the OSIRIS-REx scenario of a 1300-kg spacecraft interacting with regolith in a microgravity environment. We studied the TAGSAM interaction with Bennu through numerical simulations using two collisional codes, pkdgrav and gdc-i. We validated their accuracy by reproducing the results of laboratory impact experiments in terrestrial gravity. We then performed TAGSAM penetration simulations varying the following geotechnical properties of the regolith: packing fraction (P), bulk density, inter-particle cohesion (σc), and angle of friction (ϕ). We find that the outcome of a spacecraft-regolith impact has a non-linear dependence on packing fraction. Closely packed regolith (P ≳ 0.6) can effectively resist the penetration of TAGSAM if ϕ ≳ 28° and/or σc ≳ 50 Pa. For loosely packed regolith (P ≲ 0.5), the penetration depth is governed by a drag force that scales with impact velocity to the 4/3 power, consistent with energy conservation. We discuss the importance of low-speed impact studies for predicting and interpreting spacecraft–surface interactions. We show that these low-energy events also provide a framework for interpreting the burial depths of large boulders in asteroidal regolith.
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Contributor : Patrick Michel Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 10:43:38 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 5:24:45 AM


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R-L Ballouz, K Walsh, P Sánchez, K Holsapple, Patrick Michel, et al.. Modified granular impact force laws for the OSIRIS-REx touchdown on the surface of asteroid (101955) Bennu. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy P - Oxford Open Option A, 2021, 507 (4), pp.5087-5105. ⟨10.1093/mnras/stab2365⟩. ⟨hal-03384809⟩



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