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Laser Tracking and Removal of Space Debris

Dekorsy, Thomas (2018) Laser Tracking and Removal of Space Debris. Optics Summer Colloquium, 02. Mai 2018, Freiburg.

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Abstract

Since the first launch of the Sputnik satellite in 1957 several thousand satellites have been deployed in the low earth orbit (LEO), i.e. with an altitude of several 100 km to 2000 km. Since the atmospheric drag is strongly reduced at higher altitudes, objects with altitudes above 500 km remain in orbit for tens to hundreds of years. Hence many objects remain in space beyond their end of life. Additionally to satellites the population of smaller space debris particles is growing with an annual growth rate of approximately 5%. The available data base for space debris in the LEO contains more than 18000 objects with a size larger than 10 cm. Due to the high relative velocities larger than 8 km/s, even small space debris particles pose a major thread to satellites and space infrastructure such as the international space station (ISS). At the Institute of Technical Physics of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) we develop optical means to detect space debris and determine accurately the trajectory of debris particles. For the determination of space debris trajectories we use laser based ranging and tracking with pulsed infrared lasers. A high accuracy of the trajectories is of high importance in order to schedule avoidance maneuvers of active satellites. Finally, we will discuss the issue of space debris mitigation. Among several concepts, one concept is based on the application of high power laser pulses in order to modify the trajectory of smaller debris particles via laser ablation. The requirements and feasibility of this approach will be discussed.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/120027/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Laser Tracking and Removal of Space Debris
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Dekorsy, ThomasInstitute of Technical Physics, DLRhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2257-2854
Date:2 May 2018
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:Weltraumschrott, Detektion
Event Title:Optics Summer Colloquium
Event Location:Freiburg
Event Type:national Conference
Event Dates:02. Mai 2018
Organizer:Universität Freiburg
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Technik für Raumfahrtsysteme
DLR - Research theme (Project):Vorhaben Einsatz von Lasern zur Detektion von Weltraumschrott
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Technical Physics > Leitung und Sonderaufgaben TP
Deposited By: Heidenreich, Angela
Deposited On:07 Jan 2019 14:06
Last Modified:07 Jan 2019 14:06

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