At IMENSUS, we are developing new geophysical methods and use them in addition to classic techniques such as LiDAR and spectroscopy. Our innovative approach combines seismic and gravimetric measurement to detect density anomalies and resolve the internal structure of asteroids. This same seismic approach is also highly effective for exploring the structure of the Moon, such as determining the thickness of regolith layers.
While we cannot disclose the specific details of our methods due to confidentiality agreements, we are open to discussing potential collaborations to further advance our techniques. If you are interested in working with us to develop these cutting-edge methods, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.
Our team is developing a method to determine the gravity field of asteroids in high detail. This method allows us to make statements about the density and density anomalies of the asteroid. By using this method, we can determine various characteristics of an asteroid, such as whether it is composed of two distinct bodies with a uniform regolith layer, if it appears to be a solid body from the outside, but is actually a collection of rocks covered by a regolith layer, or other possible configurations.
The gravity field is also crucial for technical aspects such as determining how to safely land an object on the asteroid or calculating the necessary force for a drilling device or mining robot to penetrate the surface without liftoff. In combination with more detailed seismic investigations, gravity field measurements provide a comprehensive picture of the density structure of the asteroid.
With our own Python program we simulate different types of asteroids and their gravity fields to perform resolution tests for our method.
Our team is using both, the gravimetric method and seismic imaging to study the density and inner structure of asteroids. The gravimetric method, while indirect, allows us to make initial conclusions about the density and density anomalies. However, it suffers from the problem of source ambiguity, where different sources at varying depths and extents can produce the same gravity signal.
To overcome this limitation, we also employ a direct imaging method: Seismic imaging. This method enables us to achieve structural resolution of the entire asteroid or the near-surface resolution, depending on the distance between geophones or the strength of the seismic pulse.
We plan to utilize this method for surface-level studies of the Moon for measuring local regolith thickness or discovering hidden craters and large rocks. Seismic imaging is one of the most powerful exploration tools, and it's time it takes its rightful place in the space industry!
At IMENSUS, we simulate wave propagation to determine the required geophone distance and necessary seismic source impulse.