Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

3D radio reflection imaging of asteroid interiors
by Ittharat, Detchai, M.S., Colorado School of Mines, 2014, 77; 1557520
Abstract (Summary)

Imaging the interior structure of comets and asteroids in 3D holds the key for understand- ing early Solar System and planetary processes, aids mitigation of collisional hazards, and enables future space investigation. 3D wavefield extrapolation of time-domain finite differ- ences, which is referred to as reverse-time migration (RTM), is a tool to provide high-quality images of the complex 3D-internal structure of the target. Instead of a type of acquisition that separately deploys one orbiting and one landing satellite, I discuss dual orbiter systems, where transmitter and receiver satellites orbit around the asteroid target at different speeds. The dual orbiter acquisition can provide multi-offset data that improve the image quality by illuminating the target from different directions and by attenuating coherent noise caused by wavefield multi-pathing. Shot-record imaging requires dense and evenly distributed receiver coordinates to fully image the interior structure at every source-location.

I illustrate a 3D imaging method on a complex asteroid model based on the asteroid 433 Eros using realistic data generated from different acquisition designs for the dual orbiter system. In realistic 3D acquisition, the distribution and number of receivers are limited by the acquisition time, revolving speed and direction of both the transmitter and receiver satellites, and the rotation of the asteroid. The migrated image quality depends on different acquisition parameters (i.e., source frequency bandwidth, acquisition time, the spinning rate of the asteroid) and the intrinsic asteroid medium parameters (i.e., the asteroid attenuation factor and an accurate velocity model).

A critical element in reconstructing the interior of an asteroid is to have different ac- quisition designs, where the transmitter and receivers revolve quasi-continuously in different inclinational and latitudinal directions and offer evenly distributed receiver coordinates in the shot-record domain. Among different acquisition designs, the simplest orbit (where the transmitter satellite is fixed in the longitudinal plane and the receiver plane gradually shifts in the latitudinal direction around the asteroid target) offers the best data coverage and requires the least energy to shift the satellite. To obtain reasonable coverage for successfully imaging the asteroid interior, the selected acquisition takes up to eight months. However, this mission is attainable because the propulsion requirements are small due to the slow (< 10 cm/s) orbital velocities around a kilometer-sized asteroid.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sava, Paul
Commitee: Andrews-Hanna, Jeff, Grimm, Robert, Snieder, Roel
School: Colorado School of Mines
Department: Geophysics
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: MAI 53/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Applied Mathematics, Geophysics, Computer science
Keywords: Asteroids, Radio imaging, Radio waves, Reflection experiment, Seismic imaging
Publication Number: 1557520
ISBN: 9781303950292
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