GPU Accelerated 3-D Modeling and Simulation of a Blended Kinetic Impact and Nuclear Subsurface Explosion

Brian Kaplinger, Pavithra Premaratne, Christian Setzer, Bong Wie
Asteroid Deflection Research Center, 1200 Howe Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50011, United States
AIAA Guidance, AIAA-2013-4548, Planetary Defense Conference, 2013


   title={GPU Accelerated 3-D Modeling and Simulation of a Blended Kinetic Impact and Nuclear Subsurface Explosion},

   author={Kaplinger, Brian and Premaratne, Pavithra and Setzer, Christian and Wie, Bong},



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This paper develops a modeling and simulation framework for determining mission effectiveness of a two-body Hypervelocity Asteroid Intercept Vehicle (HAIV). This HAIV concept has been being developed to overcome key difficulties in coupling energy from nuclear explosives to an asteroid target at high relative velocities of 5 – 30 km/s. It does so by blending the concepts of a kinetic impactor and a nuclear subsurface explosion to create successive impacts that mimic the behavior of a buried explosive, increasing energy coupling by an order of magnitude. To demonstrate this increase in effectiveness, this approach is simulated in a Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics model adapted for high-speed, low-cost, implementation on Graphics Processing Units. An improved 3D simulation system is developed that includes improved neighbor finding for parallel calculations. Fidelity to an inhomogeneous, asymmetric target model is increased to allow for better damage prediction and shock localization. Statistical tracking of the resulting fragments is used to determine efficacy for a variety of nominal orbit conditions.
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