The Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging of Asteroids (LICIACube) is part of the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the first mission aiming to demonstrate the applicability of the kinetic impactor method for planetary defense. The mission was launched on 2021 November 24 to perform the impact experiment on Dimorphos, the small secondary of the binary asteroid (65803) Didymos. The 6U LICIACube, stored as a piggyback of the DART spacecraft, is the first Italian mission operating in deep space managed by the Italian Space Agency that will witness the effects of the DART impact on Dimorphos. On board LICIACube, there is a suite of cameras that will perform imaging of Didymos and Dimorphos to investigate the DART impact effects and study the binary system. Among them, the LICIACube Unit Key Explorer (LUKE), a wide-angle camera coupled to an RGB Bayer pattern filter, will be pivotal to constrain the surface composition and heterogeneity of the binary system due to differences in surface properties linked with possible space weathering effects and/or the presence of exogenous material. Multiband photometric analysis of LUKE data and laboratory experiments in support of data interpretation will provide new insights on the binary asteroid nature and evolution. Moreover, photometric phase curve analysis will reveal the scattering properties of the granular surface medium providing important constraints for the microphysical properties of the Didymos-Dimorphos system. In this work, we will present the state of the art of the LUKE scientific activities with an overview of the instrument setup, science operations, and expected results.

Expected Investigation of the (65803) Didymos–Dimorphos System Using the RGB Spectrophotometry Data Set from the LICIACube Unit Key Explorer (LUKE) Wide-angle Camera.

Bertini, Ivano;Palumbo, Pasquale;
2022

Abstract

The Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging of Asteroids (LICIACube) is part of the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the first mission aiming to demonstrate the applicability of the kinetic impactor method for planetary defense. The mission was launched on 2021 November 24 to perform the impact experiment on Dimorphos, the small secondary of the binary asteroid (65803) Didymos. The 6U LICIACube, stored as a piggyback of the DART spacecraft, is the first Italian mission operating in deep space managed by the Italian Space Agency that will witness the effects of the DART impact on Dimorphos. On board LICIACube, there is a suite of cameras that will perform imaging of Didymos and Dimorphos to investigate the DART impact effects and study the binary system. Among them, the LICIACube Unit Key Explorer (LUKE), a wide-angle camera coupled to an RGB Bayer pattern filter, will be pivotal to constrain the surface composition and heterogeneity of the binary system due to differences in surface properties linked with possible space weathering effects and/or the presence of exogenous material. Multiband photometric analysis of LUKE data and laboratory experiments in support of data interpretation will provide new insights on the binary asteroid nature and evolution. Moreover, photometric phase curve analysis will reveal the scattering properties of the granular surface medium providing important constraints for the microphysical properties of the Didymos-Dimorphos system. In this work, we will present the state of the art of the LUKE scientific activities with an overview of the instrument setup, science operations, and expected results.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/108356
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