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Proceedings Paper

Projected threat of the space-debris environment to selected DoD space systems
Author(s): Al Reinhardt; Ken W. Yates
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Paper Abstract

Modeling of the space debris environment is critical to providing spacecraft designers with projections of the environment over the planned lifetime of a system. Understanding how the debris environment is projected to change over time allows spacecraft designers and managers the ability to implement responsive design mitigation measures into their systems. This paper develops a strategy for assessing the projected threat of the space debris environment for particular space systems. First, a historical simulation of the debris environment is made using available empirical models. For the system under study, the planned operational loss rates are also identified based on mission operational requirements and projected launch mission models. Generally, the system designers will plan to replace components at a matching rate to maintain required system performance. A threshold debris growth factor is then identified giving the percentage increase over the current historical environment that will produce a debris collision rate equal the planned spacecraft loss rate at identified from the mission operational requirements. Using this approach, the overall threat of the projected debris environment for particular space systems is couched in terms spacecraft managers can appreciate, that of replacements required over a given period of time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 1993
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 1951, Space Debris Detection and Mitigation, (15 September 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.156554
Show Author Affiliations
Al Reinhardt, Air Force Phillips Lab. (United States)
Ken W. Yates, ORION International Technologies, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1951:
Space Debris Detection and Mitigation
Firooz A. Allahdadi, Editor(s)

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