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Proceedings Paper

Mid- and long-term debris environment projections using the evolve and chain models
Author(s): Peter Eichler; Robert C. Reynolds
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Paper Abstract

Results of debris environment projections are of great importance for the evaluation of the necessity and effectiveness of debris mitigation measures. EVOLVE and CHAIN are two models for debris environment projections that have been developed independently using different conceptual approaches. A comparison of results from these two models therefore provides a means of validating debris environment projections which they have made. EVOLVE is a model that requires mission model projections to describe future space operation; these projections include launch date, mission orbit altitude and inclimation, mission duration, vehicle size and mass, and classification as an object capable of experiencing breakup from on-board stored energy. EVOLVE describes the orbital debris environment by the orbital elements of the objects in the environment. CHAIN is an analytic model that bins the debris environemnt in size and altitude rather than following the orbit evolution of individual debris fragments. The altitude/size bins are coupled by the initial spreading of fragments by collisions and the following orbital decay behavior. A set of test cases covering a variety of space usage scenarios have been defined for the two models. In this paper, a comparison of the results will be presented and sources of disagreement identified and discussed. One major finding is that despite differences in the results of the two models, the basic tendencies of the environment projections are independent of modeled uncertainties, leading to the demand of debris mitigation measures--explosion suppression and de-orbit of rocket bodies and payloads after mission completion.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 June 1995
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 2483, Space Environmental, Legal, and Safety Issues, (23 June 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.212566
Show Author Affiliations
Peter Eichler, Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Co. (United States)
Robert C. Reynolds, Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Co. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2483:
Space Environmental, Legal, and Safety Issues
Timothy D. Maclay, Editor(s)

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