Sensitivity of Impact Risk to Uncertainty in Asteroid Properties and Entry Parameters


A central challenge in evaluating the threat posed by asteroids striking Earth is the large amount of uncertainty in potential asteroid properties and entry parameters, which can vary the resulting ground damage and affected population by orders of magnitude. We are using our Probabilistic Asteroid Impact Risk (PAIR) model to investigate the sensitivity of asteroid impact damage to these uncertainties. To assess the risk sensitivity, we alternately fix or vary the different input parameters and compare the damage distributions produced. In this study, we consider local ground damage from blast waves or thermal radiation for impactors 50-500m in diameter. The ongoing goal of this work is to help guide future efforts in asteroid characterization and model refinement by determining which properties most significantly affect the potential risk

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This paper was published in NASA Technical Reports Server.

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