Knowledge of the observable properties of orbital debris is necessary to validate debris models for both the low Earth orbit (LEO) and the geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO). Current methods determine the size and mass of orbital debris based on knowledge or assumption of the material type of the piece. Improvement in the knowledge of material is the goal of the research described herein. The process of using spectral absorption features to determine the material type is explored. A review of the optical measurements of orbital debris as well as current research in the area is discussed. Reflectances of common spacecraft materials are compared. The need for, and advances made possible by obtaining real data are explored. The prospects of the venture are investigated.
Space Debris – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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