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Analysis of the consequences of fragmentations in low and geostationary orbits

Analysis of the consequences of fragmentations in low and geostationary orbits
Analysis of the consequences of fragmentations in low and geostationary orbits
The present distribution of intact objects is a good proxy to quantify the catastrophic collision risk and consequences in the coming decades. The results of a large number of long term simulations of the LEO environment perturbed by the collisional fragmentation of massive objects are used to identify the main driving parameters of the long term collisional evolution of the debris population and measure the danger represented by “typical” classes of space objects. An evaluation norm, able to highlight the differences between comparative long term evolution scenarios and to give a quantitative measure of the effects of specific parameters affecting the evolution, is devised. It is shown how, for collisional fragmentations in LEO, due to the highly stochastic evolution of the LEO environment, even the fragmentation of a massive spacecraft might not be able to alter the long term evolution of the LEO population beyond the intrinsic statistical variability associated with the Monte Carlo procedure. Among the parameters determining the long term effects of a collisional fragmentation in LEO, a combination of mass and altitude of the event appears to be the driving factor. In GEO, the situation is different, and the addition of a massive fragmentation lives a signature on the environment that is detectable throughout the investigated time span, with the mass being the only factor important to asses the long term consequences of a collisional fragmentation
space debris, fragmentations, long term evolution
0273-1177
1-12
Rossi, A.
3139960d-02f0-444c-a7de-aa834513656a
Lewis, H.
e9048cd8-c188-49cb-8e2a-45f6b316336a
White, A.
1bc91e01-fd81-4c14-aaff-dcb3c9a009d3
Anselmo, L.
70474c3f-e140-4278-b038-b6732dd5625b
Pardini, C.
af51167b-8f38-4021-b0e2-e73cfff28972
Krag, H.
b08ba6ad-c485-40ea-8510-7474c5a2a6fd
Bastida Virgili, B.
0241e7ef-aee5-4b26-89ec-6d7ed498442b
Rossi, A.
3139960d-02f0-444c-a7de-aa834513656a
Lewis, H.
e9048cd8-c188-49cb-8e2a-45f6b316336a
White, A.
1bc91e01-fd81-4c14-aaff-dcb3c9a009d3
Anselmo, L.
70474c3f-e140-4278-b038-b6732dd5625b
Pardini, C.
af51167b-8f38-4021-b0e2-e73cfff28972
Krag, H.
b08ba6ad-c485-40ea-8510-7474c5a2a6fd
Bastida Virgili, B.
0241e7ef-aee5-4b26-89ec-6d7ed498442b

Rossi, A., Lewis, H., White, A., Anselmo, L., Pardini, C., Krag, H. and Bastida Virgili, B. (2015) Analysis of the consequences of fragmentations in low and geostationary orbits. Advances in Space Research, 1-12. (doi:10.1016/j.asr.2015.05.035).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The present distribution of intact objects is a good proxy to quantify the catastrophic collision risk and consequences in the coming decades. The results of a large number of long term simulations of the LEO environment perturbed by the collisional fragmentation of massive objects are used to identify the main driving parameters of the long term collisional evolution of the debris population and measure the danger represented by “typical” classes of space objects. An evaluation norm, able to highlight the differences between comparative long term evolution scenarios and to give a quantitative measure of the effects of specific parameters affecting the evolution, is devised. It is shown how, for collisional fragmentations in LEO, due to the highly stochastic evolution of the LEO environment, even the fragmentation of a massive spacecraft might not be able to alter the long term evolution of the LEO population beyond the intrinsic statistical variability associated with the Monte Carlo procedure. Among the parameters determining the long term effects of a collisional fragmentation in LEO, a combination of mass and altitude of the event appears to be the driving factor. In GEO, the situation is different, and the addition of a massive fragmentation lives a signature on the environment that is detectable throughout the investigated time span, with the mass being the only factor important to asses the long term consequences of a collisional fragmentation

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Accepted/In Press date: 25 May 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 May 2015
Keywords: space debris, fragmentations, long term evolution
Organisations: Faculty of Engineering and the Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 377658
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/377658
ISSN: 0273-1177
PURE UUID: b4fe8823-fd11-4a49-b8be-f4d2ccc7d750

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Date deposited: 22 Jun 2015 10:27
Last modified: 16 Dec 2019 20:17

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Contributors

Author: A. Rossi
Author: H. Lewis
Author: A. White
Author: L. Anselmo
Author: C. Pardini
Author: H. Krag
Author: B. Bastida Virgili

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