A Space Debris Impact Risk Analysis Tool (SDIRAT) was developed and implemented to assess the orbital debris impact risk on a specified target in Earth orbit, in terms of flux, relative velocity, impact velocity, direction of the incoming particles, debris mass and diameter. Based on a deterministic approach, SDIRAT uses a realistic orbital debris population where each representative particle is identified by its rectangular coordinates (position and velocity) at a reference epoch. Using this information, some geometrical algorithms were developed and implemented to evaluate the contribution of each particle to the incoming flux. The position of the particle with respect to a specified target drives the selection criteria to reject, or select, it as a possible projectile. On the other hand, the relative velocity vector can be used to estimate the impact direction of the incoming flux. SDIRAT was conceived as a general tool for a variety of scenarios, such as low circular and elliptical orbits, up to the geosynchronous ring. This paper presents some examples of possible applications, including the computation of the incoming debris flux on SAX (low Earth orbit), SIRIO (geosynchronous orbit) and the IRIS upper stage (elliptical orbit). Other applications assess the impact risk for the Soviet Radar Ocean Reconnaissance Satellites Cosmos 1900 and Cosmos 1932.
Space Debris – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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