Feasibility of asteroid exploration using CubeSats-ASPECT case study

Tomas Kohout (Corresponding Author), Antti Näsilä, Tuomas Tikka, Mikael Granvik, Antti Kestilä, Antti Penttilä, Janne Kuhno, Karri Muinonen, Kai Viherkanto, Esa Kallio

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    Operation of a small CubeSat in the deep-space microgravity environment brings additional challenging factors including the increased radiation environment, the significant contribution of non-gravitational forces to the satellite orbit, or the limited communication opportunities. These factors need to be taken into account in the form of modifications to the classic CubeSat architecture. Increased radiation resistance, the semi-autonomous satellite operation, navigation, and the active orbit correction are required. Such a modified CubeSat platform can potentially deliver a high performance to mass and cost ratios. The Asteroid Spectral Imaging Mission (ASPECT) is a three unit (3U) CubeSat mission built on these principles. It is part of the AIDA (Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment) project to the binary asteroid Didymos. ASPECT is equipped with a visible to near-infrared hyperspectral imager and will deliver both technological knowledge as well as scientific data about the origin and evolution of Solar System small bodies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2239-2244
    Number of pages6
    JournalAdvances in Space Research
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • CubeSat
    • Didymos
    • Binary asteroid
    • Space weathering
    • Impact
    • Planetary defense
    • Kinetic impactor
    • Spectroscopy


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