Model of an Asteroid

As the procedure and the device cannot be tested on real asteroids, a mathematically usable model of an arbitrary asteroid is needed.


This model can then be surveyed with a digital satellite. In the process, the model parameters of the asteroid can be changed as desired in order to test different situations. For example, the density gradient with depth or the components (e.g. raw materials) could be adjusted - depending on the formation history of the asteroid.


To obtain a random shape, a simple stone is used as a template. This stone is then approximated with boxes (see Figure 1):

The coordinates of the box centers are determined and read into a python script. The script calculates the center of gravity of the asteroid from the coordinates and the mass of each box. The previous coordinate system is moved with the origin to the center of gravity of the asteroid.


The finished model now has many mass points that are representative of a volume. The boxes have different physical properties (density, mass and composition). The model can be seen in figure 2:

Fig. 2: Finished model of an asteroid (own illustration)
Fig. 2: Finished model of an asteroid (own illustration)