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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 873135, 9 pages
Research Article

Development of a Landing Mechanism for Asteroids with Soft Surface

State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150080, China

Received 2 July 2013; Revised 5 September 2013; Accepted 15 September 2013

Academic Editor: Mahmut Reyhanoglu

Copyright © 2013 Zhijun Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A landing mechanism to an asteroid with soft surface is developed. It consists of three landing feet, landing legs, cardan element, damping element, equipment base, anchoring system, and so on. Static structural analysis and modal analysis are carried out to check the strength and natural frequency of the landing mechanism with FEA. Testing platform for the anchoring system is introduced, and then the penetrating and anchoring tests of the anchoring system are carried out in different media. It shows that cohesion of the media has large influence on the penetrating and anchoring performance of the anchoring system. Landing tests of the landing mechanism with different velocities under simulated microgravity environment are carried out on the air-floating platform, and the impact accelerations are measured by the sensors on the landing mechanism. At the same time, these impact accelerations are processed by spectrum analysis to find the natural frequency of the landing mechanism.