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Proceedings Paper

Comparisons between orbital debris measurement data and modeling results: difficulties and special features
Author(s): Anette Bade; Robert C. Reynolds; Nicholas L. Johnson; Peter Eichler; Mark Matney
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Paper Abstract

Although a variety of orbital debris measurement data is available, all these data together do not characterize the orbital debris and meteoroid environment in a way that allows the direct estimation of potential hazards for active and planned space missions. This can only be done by modeling. The measurement data can be used for the evaluation of modeling results and for the calibration of the models themselves. In this paper it is shown how two-line element sets (TLE), radar cross-section data (RCS) and satellite catalog data are compared to current NASA breakup model results. It is shown that neither the assumption of a fixed lower trackable size threshold nor of completeness of the satellite catalog above a certain size are adequate for comparison purposes. A solution for this problem, i.e., a better way to handle the data, is presented. Furthermore a realistic picture of the growth and evolution of the total population in orbit is given.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 1997
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3116, Small Spacecraft, Space Environments, and Instrumentation Technologies, (1 October 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.293339
Show Author Affiliations
Anette Bade, Lockheed Martin Space Mission Systems & Services (United States)
Robert C. Reynolds, Lockheed Martin Space Mission Systems & Services (United States)
Nicholas L. Johnson, NASA Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
Peter Eichler, Lockheed Martin Space Mission Systems & Services (United States)
Mark Matney, Lockheed Martin Space Mission Systems & Services (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3116:
Small Spacecraft, Space Environments, and Instrumentation Technologies
Firooz A. Allahdadi; Firooz A. Allahdadi; Timothy D. Maclay; E. Kane Casani; Timothy D. Maclay, Editor(s)

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