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Momentum predictability and heat accumulation in laser-based space debris removal

Scharring, Stefan and Eisert, Lukas and Lorbeer, Raoul-Amadeus and Eckel, Hans-Albert (2019) Momentum predictability and heat accumulation in laser-based space debris removal. Optical Engineering, 58 (1), 011004. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). doi: 10.1117/1.OE.58.1.011004. ISSN 0091-3286.

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Official URL: http://spie.org/publications/journal/10.1117/1.OE.58.1.011004?SSO=1


Small space debris objects of even a few centimeters can cause severe damage to satellites. Powerful lasers are often proposed for pushing small debris by laser-ablative recoil toward an orbit where atmospheric burn-up yields their remediation. We analyze whether laser-ablative momentum generation is safe and reliable concerning predictability of momentum and accumulation of heat at the target. With hydrodynamic simulations on laser ablation of aluminum as the prevalent debris material, we study laser parameter dependencies of thermomechanical coupling. The results serve as configuration for raytracing-based Monte Carlo simulations on imparted momentum and heat of randomly shaped fragments within a Gaussian laser spot. Orbit modification and heating are analyzed exemplarily under repetitive laser irradiation. Short wavelengths are advantageous, yielding momentum coupling up to approximately 40 mNs∕kJ, and thermal coupling can be minimized to 7% of the pulse energy using short-laser pulses. Random target orientation yields a momentum uncertainty of 86% and the thrust angle exhibits 40% scatter around 45 deg. Moreover, laser pointing errors at least redouble the uncertainty in momentum prediction. Due to heat accumulation of a few Kelvin per pulse, their number is restricted to allow for intermediate cooldown. Momentum scatter requires a sound collision analysis for conceivable trajectory modifications.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/123764/
Document Type:Article
Title:Momentum predictability and heat accumulation in laser-based space debris removal
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Scharring, Stefanstefan.scharring (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Eisert, Lukaslukas.eisert (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:January 2019
Journal or Publication Title:Optical Engineering
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1117/1.OE.58.1.011004
Page Range:011004
Publisher:Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Keywords:Laser Ablation, Space Debris, Debris Removal, Momentum Transfer, Residual Heat, Monte Carlo Simulation, Heat Accumulation
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:26 Nov 2018 16:45
Last Modified:16 May 2022 15:12

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