Lewis, H.G., Swinerd, G.G., Newland, R.J. and Saunders, A.
The fast debris evolution model
Advances in Space Research, 44, (5), . (doi:10.1016/j.asr.2009.05.018).
The ‘Particles-in-a-box’ (PIB) model introduced by Talent (1992) removed the need for computer-intensive Monte Carlo simulation to predict the gross characteristics of an evolving debris environment. The PIB model was described using a differential equation that allows the stability of the low Earth orbit (LEO) environment to be tested by a straightforward analysis of the equation’s coefficients. As part of an ongoing research effort to investigate more efficient approaches to evolutionary modelling and to develop a suite of educational tools, a new PIB model has been developed. The model, entitled Fast Debris Evolution (FADE), employs a first-order differential equation to describe the rate at which new objects ?10 cm are added and removed from the environment. Whilst Talent (1992) based the collision theory for the PIB approach on collisions between gas particles and adopted specific values for the parameters of the model from a number of references, the form and coefficients of the FADE model equations can be inferred from the outputs of future projections produced by high-fidelity models, such as the DAMAGE model.
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