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Laser-based removal of irregularly shaped space debris

Scharring, Stefan and Wilken, Jascha and Eckel, Hans-Albert (2016) Laser-based removal of irregularly shaped space debris. Optical Engineering, 56 (1), 011007-1. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). doi: 10.1117/1.OE.56.1.011007. ISSN 0091-3286.

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Official URL: http://opticalengineering.spiedigitallibrary.org/article.aspx?articleid=2542221

Abstract

While the feasibility of laser space debris removal by high energy lasers has been shown in concept studies and laboratory proofs of principle, we address the question of the effectiveness and responsibility associated with this technique. The large variety of debris shapes poses a challenge for predicting amount and direction of the impulse imparted to the target. We present a numerical code that considers variation of fluence throughout the target surface with respect to the resulting local momentum coupling. Simple targets as well as an example for realistic space debris are investigated with respect to momentum generation. The predictability of the imparted momentum is analyzed in a Monte Carlo study. It was found that slight variations of the initial debris position and orientation may yield large differences of the modified trajectories. We identify highly cooperative targets, e.g., spheres, as well as targets that are strongly sensitive to orientation, e.g., plates, and exhibit a poor performance in laser debris removal. Despite limited predictability for the motion of a particular debris object, the laser-based approach appears to be suitable for space debris removal, albeit not with a deterministic but rather with a probabilistic treatment of the resulting trajectory modifications.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/105517/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:Pressemitteilung von SPIE zum Paper am 1.8.2016: http://spie.org/about-spie/press-room/press-releases/laser-nudges-may-help-destroy-space-debris-threatening-communications-navigation-on-earth-1-aug-2016
Title:Laser-based removal of irregularly shaped space debris
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Scharring, StefanStefan.Scharring (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Wilken, JaschaJascha.Wilken (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Eckel, Hans-AlbertHans-Albert.Eckel (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4581-6375
Date:1 August 2016
Journal or Publication Title:Optical Engineering
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:56
DOI :10.1117/1.OE.56.1.011007
Page Range:011007-1
Publisher:Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Series Name:Special Section on Laser Damage III
ISSN:0091-3286
Status:Published
Keywords:space debris removal; laser ablation; geometric shape; laser parameters; impulse coupling; Monte Carlo simulation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:fixed-wing aircraft
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AR - Aircraft Research
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Laser Research and Technology (old)
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Technical Physics > Studies and Concepts
Deposited By: Scharring, Stefan
Deposited On:06 Oct 2016 16:27
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:02

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