Influence of the projectile geometry on the momentum transfer from a kinetic impactor and implications for the DART mission

Raducan, S. D.; Jutzi, M.; Davison, T.M.; DeCoster, M.E.; Graninger, D.M.; Owen, J.M.; Stickle, A.M.; Collins, G.S. (2022). Influence of the projectile geometry on the momentum transfer from a kinetic impactor and implications for the DART mission. International journal of impact engineering, 162, p. 104147. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2021.104147

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The DART spacecraft will impact Didymos’s secondary, Dimorphos, at the end of 2022 and cause a change in the orbital period of the secondary. For simplicity, most
previous numerical simulations of the impact used a spherical projectile geometry to model the DART spacecraft. To investigate the effects of alternative, simple
projectile geometries on the DART impact outcome we used the iSALE shock physics code in two and thee-dimensions to model vertical impacts of projectiles with a
mass and speed equivalent to the nominal DART impact, into porous basalt targets. We found that the simple projectile geometries investigated here have minimal
effects on the crater morphology and momentum enhancement. Projectile geometries modelled in two-dimensions that have similar surface areas at the point of
impact, affect the crater radius and the crater volume by less than 5%. In the case of a more extreme projectile geometry (i.e., a rod, modelled in three-dimensions),
the crater was elliptical and 50% shallower compared to the crater produced by a spherical projectile of the same momentum. The momentum enhancement factor in
these test cases, commonly referred to as β, was within 7% for the 2D simulations and within 10% for the 3D simulations, of the value obtained for a uniform
spherical projectile. The most prominent effects of projectile geometry are seen in the ejection velocity as a function of launch position and ejection angle of the fast
ejecta that resides in the so-called ‘coupling zone’. These results will inform the LICIACube ejecta cone analysis

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Raducan, Sabina-Denisa, Jutzi, Martin


500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering








Dora Ursula Zimmerer

Date Deposited:

16 Mar 2023 08:45

Last Modified:

16 Mar 2023 23:27

Publisher DOI:





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