Free-Vertex Tetrahedral Finite-Element Representation and Its Use for Estimating Density Distribution of Irregularly-Shaped Asteroids

Weidong Yin, Leizheng Shu, Yang Yu, Yu Shi
2021 Aerospace (Basel)  
In this article, we present a free-vertex tetrahedral finite-element representation of irregularly shaped small bodies, which provides an alternative solution for estimating asteroid density distribution. We derived the transformations between gravitational potentials expressed by the free-vertex tetrahedral finite elements and the spherical harmonic functions. Inversely, the density of each free-vertex tetrahedral finite element can be estimated via the least-squares method, assuming a
more » ... l harmonic gravitational function is present. The proposed solution is illustrated by modeling gravitational potential and estimating the density distribution of the simulated asteroid 216 Kleopatra.
doi:10.3390/aerospace8120371 fatcat:zkfyiep6bvapbc4irrr3mbtnhy