Detecting minimoons in the Earth-Moon system with microsatellite compatible technologies
M. Kidron presents his MSc thesis
Tid: On 2018-10-17 kl 14.15 - 15.00
Föreläsare: Matias Kidron
Plats: Ivar Herlitz room, Teknikringen 33
Minimoons, Earth’s temporarily-captured orbiters, are excellent candidates for asteroid mining technology demonstrations and general asteroid studies because of their relatively long stay in the vicinity of Earth. In this thesis, microsatellite compatible surveillance technologies are discussed and the suitability of various locations in the Earth-Moon system for minimoon surveillance are examined. This is done to acquire knowledge on which type of orbit a minimoon-surveying-microsatellite should be placed on.
The instantaneous visible fraction of the minimoon steady-state population is the figure of merit when comparing surveillance systems and locations. The visible fraction is esti- mated by simulating the distribution of visible minimoons in the sky-plane. The objects in the simulated sky-plane are synthetic minimoons, which are generated in large numbers according to the geocentric 6-dimensional-residence-time-distribution of minimoons, and thus, the bin values of the sky-plane distribution can be thought of as instantaneous prob- abilities for containing a detectable minimoon within certain ecliptic latitude-longitude range.
The visible fractions are estimated for various locations with given surveillance system performance. Multiple microsatellite compatible surveillance technology configurations are examined as well as the effect of key system parameters on the visible fraction. Minimoons are faint and fast moving objects and thus the use of synthetic tracking algorithm is beneficial and considered. Only visual band surveillance systems with aperture sizes less than 0.30 m and minimoons with diameter sizes larger than 0.50 m are considered in the simulations.