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A new analysis of debris mitigation and removal using networks

A new analysis of debris mitigation and removal using networks
A new analysis of debris mitigation and removal using networks
Modelling studies have shown that the implementation of mitigation guidelines, which aim to reduce the amount of new debris generated on-orbit, is an important requirement of future space activities but may be insufficient to stabilise the near-Earth debris environment. The role of a variety of mitigation practices in stabilising the environment has been investigated over the last decade, as has the potential of active debris removal (ADR) methods in recent work. We present a theoretical approach to the analysis of the debris environment that is based on the study of networks, composed of vertices and edges, which describe the dynamic relationships between Earth satellites in the debris system. Future projections of the 10 cm and larger satellite population in a non-mitigation scenario, conducted with the DAMAGE model, are used to reconstruct a network in which vertices represent satellites and edges encapsulate conjunctions between collision pairs. The network structure is then quantified using statistical measures, providing a numerical baseline for this future projection scenario. Finally, the impact of mitigation strategies and active debris removal, which can be mapped onto the network by altering or removing edges and vertices, can be assessed in terms of the changes from this baseline. The paper introduces the network methodology, highlights the ways in which this approach can be used to formalise criteria for debris mitigation and removal. It then summarises changes to the adopted network that correspond to an increasing stability and changes that represent a decreasing stability of the future debris environment.
Lewis, H.G.
e9048cd8-c188-49cb-8e2a-45f6b316336a
Newland, R.J.
88825b76-3726-4c54-96e4-403096d10cc1
Swinerd, G.G.
4aa174ec-d08c-4972-9986-966e17e072a0
Saunders, A.
f42b40b5-5e67-47e2-bde0-0942211201f4
Lewis, H.G.
e9048cd8-c188-49cb-8e2a-45f6b316336a
Newland, R.J.
88825b76-3726-4c54-96e4-403096d10cc1
Swinerd, G.G.
4aa174ec-d08c-4972-9986-966e17e072a0
Saunders, A.
f42b40b5-5e67-47e2-bde0-0942211201f4

Lewis, H.G., Newland, R.J., Swinerd, G.G. and Saunders, A. (2008) A new analysis of debris mitigation and removal using networks. 59th International Astronautical Congress. 29 Sep - 03 Oct 2008. 13 pp .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Modelling studies have shown that the implementation of mitigation guidelines, which aim to reduce the amount of new debris generated on-orbit, is an important requirement of future space activities but may be insufficient to stabilise the near-Earth debris environment. The role of a variety of mitigation practices in stabilising the environment has been investigated over the last decade, as has the potential of active debris removal (ADR) methods in recent work. We present a theoretical approach to the analysis of the debris environment that is based on the study of networks, composed of vertices and edges, which describe the dynamic relationships between Earth satellites in the debris system. Future projections of the 10 cm and larger satellite population in a non-mitigation scenario, conducted with the DAMAGE model, are used to reconstruct a network in which vertices represent satellites and edges encapsulate conjunctions between collision pairs. The network structure is then quantified using statistical measures, providing a numerical baseline for this future projection scenario. Finally, the impact of mitigation strategies and active debris removal, which can be mapped onto the network by altering or removing edges and vertices, can be assessed in terms of the changes from this baseline. The paper introduces the network methodology, highlights the ways in which this approach can be used to formalise criteria for debris mitigation and removal. It then summarises changes to the adopted network that correspond to an increasing stability and changes that represent a decreasing stability of the future debris environment.

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More information

Published date: September 2008
Venue - Dates: 59th International Astronautical Congress, 2008-09-29 - 2008-10-03
Organisations: Astronautics Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 68974
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/68974
PURE UUID: 73ed4ced-6d48-489a-979a-785867c6198e

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Oct 2009
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 23:48

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Contributors

Author: H.G. Lewis
Author: R.J. Newland
Author: G.G. Swinerd
Author: A. Saunders

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