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Space Debris

Marek Möckel
Chaos Communication Camp 2011
Indexed on
Mar 27, 2013
File name
File size
422.2 MB

This talk is about different sources of space debris and how they are a problem for current and future space travel. I'll introduce some of the computational models that are used to simulate space debris objects and some ideas to prevent them. The environment around Earth is littered with different types of debris - some of natural origin, some human-made. They already pose a risk to spacecraft which will increase if nothing is done about the problem. I will introduce the different known sources of space debris. The objects' sizes range from several meters to only micrometers so it is impossible to detect most objects. Therefore the space debris environment has to be simulated to estimate current and future collision risks for spacecraft. Since we're talking millions of objects that have to be treated individually, a lot of computational power is required. Preventing space debris is a matter of global concern. Many proposals have been issued about how to achieve this; but especially the active removal of existing space debris objects is an open problem.

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