A Report to ESO Council On The Impact of Satellite Constellations


Space Debris Risk

Up to 100,000 satellites could be launched into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in the coming decade.

Assuming the two most advanced companies' plans are realised, close to 80,000 satellites will be present at a variety of altitudes between 328 - 1,325 km. At Paranal, more than 5,000 satellites will be over the horizon at any given time. Of these, depending on the hour of night and season, a few hundred to several thousand will be illuminated by the sun and potentially detectable. Satellites show a very strong concentration towards the local horizon, with over 50% of the satellites below 20 degrees elevation. This report informs ESO's Council of the impacts on ESO facilities, mitigation measures that ESO could adopt in the future, and the various community efforts in which ESO is involved.

Andrew Williams, Olivier Hainaut, Angel Otarola, Gie Han Tan, Andrew Biggs, Neil Phillips, Giuliana Rotola (ESO)

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Report number: ESO/Cou-1928
Cite as: arXiv:2108.03999 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2108.03999v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Olivier Hainaut
[v1] Mon, 9 Aug 2021 12:48:00 UTC (1,083 KB)

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