Using Chebyshev polynomial interpolation to improve the computational efficiency of gravity models near an irregularly-shaped asteroid

Shou-Cun Hu, Jiang-Hui Ji
2017 Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics  
In asteroid rendezvous missions, the dynamical environment near the asteroid's surface should be made clear prior to the mission launch. However, most of the asteroids have irregular shapes, which lower the efficiency of calculating their gravitational field by adopting the traditional polyhedral method. In this work, we propose a method to partition the space near the asteroid adaptively along three spherical coordinates and use Chebyshev polynomials interpolation to represent the
more » ... acceleration in each cell. Moreover, we compare four different interpolation schemes to obtain the best precision with the identical initial parameters. An error-adaptive octree division is combined to improve the interpolation precision near the surface. As an example, we take the typical irregular-shaped near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis to show the advantage of this method, as a result, we show that the efficiency can be increased by hundreds to thousands times with our method. In a word, this method can be applicable to other irregular-shaped asteroids and can greatly improve the evaluation efficiency.
doi:10.1088/1674-4527/17/12/120 fatcat:q7dvjhjihbhilnghcgqre6zwzq