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Heat Accumulation in Laser-Based Removal of Space Debris

Scharring, Stefan and Lorbeer, Raoul-Amadeus and Eckel, Hans-Albert (2018) Heat Accumulation in Laser-Based Removal of Space Debris. AIAA Journal. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). doi: 10.2514/1.J056718. ISSN 0001-1452.

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We highlight a side-effect of laser ablation which has almost been neglected so far in laser-based removal of space debris but causes significant restrictions to the removal process: The accumulation of residual heat in the target stemming from the laser ablation process might cause the debris target to become entirely liquid within less than a minute of repetitive laser irradiation. This might severely enhance the related hazard of the corresponding particle instead of reducing it. In order to allow for a rough assessment of the related set of problems, we introduce a so-called thermomechanical coupling coefficient. The general limitation of velocity change, given by the thermo-mechanical coupling coefficient, appears to be a general, physical barrier for laser-induced orbit modification without target cooling. The operational limit of the maximum acceptable number of pulses depends specifically on the mass, material, and temperature of the debris target. Therefore, remote analysis of debris material and temperature would be highly desirable for efficiently tailored laser debris irradiation keeping safety margins to prevent debris melting.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/117448/
Document Type:Article
Title:Heat Accumulation in Laser-Based Removal of Space Debris
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Scharring, StefanStefan.Scharring (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Lorbeer, Raoul-Amadeusraoul.lorbeer (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3674-9796
Eckel, Hans-AlbertHans-Albert.Eckel (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4581-6375
Date:28 February 2018
Journal or Publication Title:AIAA Journal
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.2514/1.J056718
Publisher:American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
Keywords:space debris removal, high energy laser, laser-induced heating, target integrity
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:08 Jan 2018 08:37
Last Modified:10 Mar 2022 09:33

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