Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Programme Category


Article available in the following languages:


Advanced research in Near Earth Objects (NEOs) and new payload technologies for planetary defence


The aim of this topic is the maturation or adaptation to specific use case of existing modelling capabilities and the development of technologies and instruments in support of missions to asteroids.

Each proposal shall address one or two of the following three sub-topics:

a) Maturation or adaptation to specific use cases of existing modelling capabilities.

These include the modelling of the outcome of a kinetic impactor as a function of assumed physical properties, and the implementation of benchmarking campaigns for the cross-validation of the different impact numerical models. The modelling of the dynamical and physical states of a target NEO (including binary asteroids) and their changes due to the effects of a kinetic impactor, should also be addressed, as well as modelling and testing geophysical surface and regolith processes in the low-gravity regimes of NEOs (this includes also thermal processes and surface composition characteristics).

b) Developmen

It is fundamental to improve our understanding of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) through scientific modelling as well as the development of spacecraft instruments and data exploitation, both for the design of asteroids impact mitigation missions and the assessment of the associated effects.

In addition, in order to conduct spacecraft close proximity operations to NEOs and undertake mitigation demonstration missions, it is necessary to have a number of specific technologies and instruments readily available to conduct missions to asteroids with very weak gravitational fields.

The selection of NEO targets for space missions, either for science or mitigation, must guarantee both technical feasibility and high scientific/mitigation return. In this respect ground-based observations represent an essential means to investigate the physical and dynamical properties of the NEO population as a whole, thus leading to further strengthening the science return of a mission, as well as optimising the choice of mis

  • Advance our understanding of the dynamical and physical states of a target NEO and their changes due to the effects of a kinetic impactor;
  • Advance payload technology, and the associated performance simulators for the thorough characterization of asteroid properties affecting planetary defence missions;
  • Advance the capability of timely detection and characterization of potential imminent impactors of Earth.