- Press Release
- Nov 29, 2022
A Population Dynamics Approach to the Distribution of Space Debris in Low Earth Orbit
The presence of debris in Earth’s orbit poses a significant risk to human activity in outer space. This debris population continues to grow due to ground launches, loss of external parts from space ships, and uncontrollable collisions between objects.
A computationally feasible continuum model for the growth of the debris population and its spatial distribution is therefore critical. Here we propose a diffusion-collision model for the evolution of debris density in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) and its dependence on ground-launch policy. We parametrize this model and test it against data from publicly available object catalogs to examine timescales for uncontrolled growth. Finally, we consider sensible launch policies and cleanup strategies and how they reduce the future risk of collisions with active satellites or space ships.
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2210.16179 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2210.16179v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
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From: John Jurkiewicz
[v1] Wed, 26 Oct 2022 02:07:30 UTC (3,677 KB)