AGEX

AGEX (Royal Observatory of Belgium, ISAE-SUPAERO, Antwerp Space, EMXYS, Asteroid Initiatives Ltd). A CubeSat touches down to assess the surface material, surface gravity, subsurface structure and DART impact effects. Another CubeSat in orbit deploys smaller ‘chipsats’ dispersed over the asteroid. The lander Cubesat will be tracked from the main AIM spacecraft.

In this way the mechanical properties of the surface material can be studied. The seismometers and gravimeter on board the lander Cubesat can characterise the average sub-surface (<10 m) seismic properties and surface gravity of Didymoon. This will aid in accurately determining the mass and density of the secondary asteroid. The use of a double Cubesat system will enable the determination of the rotational kinematics prior and after DART impact.

Specification of the payload: (TRL=Technology readiness level)

  • Three seismometers
  • Commercial geophones <400g, 0.3 W (TRL 3-4)
  • Accelerometers (TRL 6) 48 g, 0.65 W, 47 × 44 × 14 mm3.
  • Gravimeter (optional alternative, TRL 2)
  • 120 g, 0.25 W, 8 × 8 × 50 mm3 (TRL 3-4)
  • 0.6 kg of femto spacecraft (Chipsats)

Specifications of the design:

  • Units: 2 × 3U
  • Size: 100x100x340 mm (per 3U)  
  • Weight: <4 kg
  • Power generation: 6 W each
  • Heritage: NAOSat nanosatellite
  • Ballistic deployment from AIM for landing

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