Rebound stabilization for an asteroid lander by flexible plate design

Ruoyu Feng, Kazuya Yoshida, Junfeng Li, Hexi Baoyin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Landing on small bodies like asteroids encounters great rebound uncertainties, which threatens the surface exploration and operation. This paper explores a potential solution for rebound stabilization through innovative flexible design of future landers. Specifically, we study a representative structure that assumes a flexible plate underneath current rigid landers (abbreviated as “FlexLander”). The plate is assigned to conform to the ground surface and provide large contact area. We develop an efficient dynamical model and carry out landing simulations, to reveal the lander's motion behavior and energy dissipation mechanism, also to provide instructions for the plate stiffness design. It is found that the deformable plate can remarkably tune the microgravity contact, and its stiffness exists a margin for design optimization and regulating. Finally, rebound stability of the proposed lander is evaluated over various landing attitudes, which can be found superior to that of rigid structure. The adaptivity to the rugged terrains and the up-righting requirement are also discussed for possible landing situations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107969
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec


  • Asteroid lander
  • Flexible plate
  • Microgravity contact
  • Rebound stability


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