Momentum Enhancement during Kinetic Impacts in the Low-intermediate-strength Regime: Benchmarking and Validation of Impact Shock Physics Codes

Luther, Robert; Raducan, Sabina D.; Burger, Christoph; Wünnemann, Kai; Jutzi, Martin; Schäfer, Christoph M.; Koschny, Detlef; Davison, Thomas M.; Collins, Gareth S.; Zhang, Yun; Michel, Patrick (2022). Momentum Enhancement during Kinetic Impacts in the Low-intermediate-strength Regime: Benchmarking and Validation of Impact Shock Physics Codes. The planetary science journal, 3(10), p. 227. IOP Publishing 10.3847/psj/ac8b89

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In 2022 September, the DART spacecraft (NASA’s contribution to the Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) collaboration) will impact the asteroid Dimorphos, the secondary in the Didymos system. The crater formation and material ejection will affect the orbital period. In 2027, Hera (ESA’s contribution to AIDA) will investigate the system, observe the crater caused by DART, and characterize Dimorphos. Before Hera’s arrival, the target properties will not be well-constrained. The relationships between observed orbital change and specific target properties are not unique, but Hera’s observations will add additional constraints for the analysis of the impact event, which will narrow the range of feasible target properties. In this study, we use three different shock physics codes to simulate momentum transfer from impactor to target and investigate the agreement between the results from the codes for well-defined target materials. In contrast to previous studies, care is taken to use consistent crushing behavior (e.g., distension as a function of pressure) for a given porosity for all codes. First, we validate the codes against impact experiments into a regolith simulant. Second, we benchmark the codes at the DART impact scale for a range of target material parameters (10%–50% porosity, 1.4–100 kPa cohesion). Aligning the crushing behavior improves the consistency of the derived momentum enhancement between the three codes to within +/−5% for most materials used. Based on the derived mass–velocity distributions from all three codes, we derive scaling parameters that can be used for studies of the ejecta curtain.

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 > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




IOP Publishing




Dora Ursula Zimmerer

Date Deposited:

16 Mar 2023 16:42

Last Modified:

19 Mar 2023 02:15

Publisher DOI:





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