From: European Space Agency
Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
A new website will enable rapid updates for experts using ESA’s suite of space-debris software tools to perform risk assessment and analysis of debris mitigation actions for missions currently in orbit and to be better prepared for future ones.
Researchers using ESA’s space-debris software tools can now download the newest versions as well as access updates and technical support via a dedicated website, the Space Debris User Portal.
The site provides a one-stop shop to download the MASTER and DRAMA software packages and an access point to the DISCOS database, each of which enables different aspects of space debris to be studied and analysed. The software is part of ESA’s response to the growing population of space debris objects in Earth orbit.
“Our tools are available free of charge to industry, researchers and space organisations within ESA Member States, and they are regularly updated to reflect the latest types and quantities of space debris objects,” says Holger Krag, newly appointed head of ESA’s Space Debris Office.
The site offers the following services:
- Download of MASTER (Meteoroid and Space Debris Terrestrial Environment), a model for the prediction of debris and meteoroid particle fluxes;
- Download of DRAMA (Debris Risk Assessment and Mitigation Analysis), a tool for the verification of space mission compliance with mitigation guidelines;
- Online access to DISCOS (Database and Information System Characterising Objects in Space), a reference database for launch information, object registration details, launch vehicle descriptions, spacecraft information and orbital data histories for all trackable, unclassified objects (totalling over 40 000 objects).
The new site was unveiled during a workshop held at ESA’s ESOC operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany, this week.
The day-long workshop was attended by more than 70 scientists, engineers and researchers from universities, research institutes, industry, national and European space agencies and from partner agencies in the USA.
ESOC is home base for the Agency’s Space Debris Office, which oversees research, technology and operational aspects related to space debris. This includes providing realtime support to current and future ESA missions as well as those of partner agencies.
ESA’s space-debris services include issuing in-orbit collision avoidance warnings, reentry prediction, and risk assessment and maintenance of information on all trackable objects.
Most recently, the Space Debris Office coordinated the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) tracking campaign for the reentry of GOCE, in November 2013. The campaign utilised tracking data from the US, European and Asian space agencies to provide reentry prediction services to IADC member states.
ESA’s Space Debris Office is also helping define a European space surveillance system, which is now being developed under ESA’s Space Situational Awareness programme.
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