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A Monte Carlo-type simulation toolbox for Solar System small body dynamics: Application to the October Draconids
Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), Kiruna, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6371-1016
2017 (English)In: Planetary and Space Science, ISSN 0032-0633, E-ISSN 1873-5088, Vol. 143, p. 53-66Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present the current status and first results from a Monte Carlo-type simulation toolbox for Solar System small body dynamics. We also present fundamental methods for evaluating the results of this type of simulations using convergence criteria. The calculations consider a body in the Solar System with a mass loss mechanism that generates smaller particles. In our application the body, or parent body, is a comet and the mass loss mechanism is a sublimation process. In order to study mass propagation from parent bodies to Earth, we use the toolbox to sample the uncertainty distributions of relevant comet parameters and to find the resulting Earth influx distributions. The initial distributions considered represent orbital elements, sublimation distance, cometary and meteoroid densities, comet and meteoroid sizes and cometary surface activity. Simulations include perturbations from all major planets, radiation pressure and the Poynting-Robertson effect. In this paper we present the results of an initial software validation performed by producing synthetic versions of the 1933, 1946, 2011 and 2012 October Draconids meteor outbursts and comparing them with observational data and previous models. The synthetic meteor showers were generated by ejecting and propagating material from the recognized parent body of the October Draconids; the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. Material was ejected during 17 perihelion passages between 1866 and 1972. Each perihelion passage was sampled with 50 clones of the parent body, all producing meteoroid streams. The clones were drawn from a multidimensional Gaussian distribution on the orbital elements, with distribution variances proportional to observational uncertainties. In the simulations, each clone ejected 8000 particles. Each particle was assigned an individual weight proportional to the mass loss it represented. This generated a total of 6.7 million test particles, out of which 43 thousand entered the Earth's Hill sphere during 1900–2020 and were considered encounters. The simulation reproduces the predictions and observations of the 1933, 1946, 2011 and 2012 October Draconids, including the unexpected but measured deviation of the meteoroid mass index from a power law in 2012 as compared to 2011. We show that when convergence is sufficient in the simulation, the fraction between two encountered mass distributions is independent of the assumed input mass distribution. Finally, we predict an outburst for the 2018 October Draconids with a peak on October 8–9 that could be up to twice as large as the 2011 and 2012 outbursts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 143, p. 53-66
Keywords [en]
Small body dynamics, Meteoroids, Comets, Numerical simulation, 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, October Draconids
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-200691DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2017.03.007ISI: 000405050600010Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85015320830OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-200691DiVA, id: diva2:1707402
Available from: 2022-10-31 Created: 2022-10-31 Last updated: 2022-10-31Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. From meteors to space safety: dynamical models and radar measurements of space objects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From meteors to space safety: dynamical models and radar measurements of space objects
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Från meteorer till rymdlägesbild : dynamiska modeller och radarmätningar av rymdobjekt
Abstract [en]

Every day the Earth's atmosphere is bombarded by 10-200 metric tons of dust-sized particles and larger pieces of material from space called meteoroids. Dust and meteoroids come from parent bodies such as comets and asteroids, which are remnants from the formation of the solar system. In addition to natural objects, geospace contains artificial satellites and space debris that needs to be monitored to reduce the risk of collisions. Studies of all these kinds of space objects form a cross-disciplinary research field that stretches from meteors to space safety

The primary goal of this thesis has been to rigorously connect measurements and their uncertainties with high-level analysis and dynamical simulations of distributions.

An automated radar data analysis algorithm was developed for meteor head echo measurements. The analysis algorithm is able to produce realistic uncertainties for each individual meteor event, including the meteoroid orbit. Many of the resulting probability distributions are non-Gaussian, which needs to be accounted for. The analysis algorithm was applied to interferometric high-power large-aperture MU radar data in a case study on high altitude meteors. The study found that 74 out of 106,000 meteors appeared higher than 130 km and a few confirmed detections reached up to 150 km altitude.

Comet 21P/Giacobini–Zinner is the parent body of the meteoroid stream giving rise to the October Draconid meteor shower. The meteoroid stream was simulated accounting for parent body orbital uncertainties to estimate meteor shower parameters. The simulation was able to model the unexpected mass distribution observed in the 2011 and 2012 October Draconids. It also successfully predicted a meteor outburst in 2018. Further, methods to reduce the computation time of meteoroid stream simulations using importance sampling were derived and implemented on a test model.

EISCAT radar measurements were performed to study space debris from the Kosmos-1408 satellite, which had been destroyed and fragmented in orbit on 15 November, 2021. A novel method to estimate the size distribution of debris objects was developed. Data from two EISCAT radars were used to demonstrate a new initial orbit determination technique, yielding good agreement with known catalogue orbits. Finally, the detectability of near-Earth objects (NEOs) with the EISCAT~3D radar currently under construction was simulated. It was predicted that as many as seven temporarily captured NEOs, i.e. minimoons, could be discovered per year depending on the amount of allocated observation time. The predictions also show that hundreds of NEOs could be tracked yearly to improve their orbits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2022. p. 79
Series
IRF Scientific Report, ISSN 0284-1703 ; 315
Keywords
Meteors, meteor shower, atmosphere, meteoroids, meteoroid stream, small-body dynamics, solar system, comets, asteroids, near-Earth objects, space safety, space debris, radar, MU, EISCAT
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-200702 (URN)978-91-7855-902-2 (ISBN)978-91-7855-903-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2022-11-25, Ljusårssalen, Institutet för rymdfysik, Bengt Hultqvists väg 1, Kiruna, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2022-11-04 Created: 2022-10-31 Last updated: 2022-11-01Bibliographically approved

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Kastinen, Daniel

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