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Orbital Debris and . BRIEFING. Collisional Cascading. Di Carlo T. The Problem.

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The Problem

Random collisions between man-made objects in earth orbit may some day initiate cascading collisions that will exponentially pollute these high-value orbits, rendering them exceedingly hazardous for space ventures.

As suggested by.: Collisional Cascading -The Limits of Population Growth in Low Earth Orbit, Kessler, Donald J., NASA Doc ID 19920036034, Adv. Space Res. Vol. 11, No. 12, pp. (12)63-(12)66, 1991

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Sampling of Prior Art

EVOLVE- one-dimensional, LEO-only, deterministic and stochastic environment evolution model with Monte Carlo processing (NASA)

LEGEND– Leo-to-Geo Environment Debris model, 3-dimensional (altitude, latitude, longitude) evolutionary model (NASA)

CHAINEE– PIB model for long-term LEO predictions based on traffic assumptions and mitigation measures (ESA)

SDM/STAT– like CHAINEE, based on modulation of background population (ESA)

PIB– particle in a box (1)

(1) for a description of PIB see: Analytic Model for orbital Debris Environmental Management, David L. Talent, Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 508-513, 1992

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

NASA Orbital Debris Program Architecture

Source: NASA 26 July 2006 Orbital Debris Environment Presentation to ISS Independent Safety Task Force

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Sources / Sinks

Satellites~120 launches per year worldwide (but, emerging China, Japan and India space programs could inflate this figure; double it?) (1) (2)

Rocket Body Parts~ 2-3 per launch (1)

Spontaneous Explosions, Fragmentations– 3% (6), 124 since 1961 (2)

Anti-Satellite Tests (ASAT)

Soviet Union, at least 4 between 1968 and 1982 (3) (5)

USA, at least 1 in 1985 (Solwind) (4)

China, 1 in 2007

Space Warfare – none, yet

Random Collisions– 1 to date (Cerise, 1996, without explosion) (5)

Natural Decay– due to drag, also function of solar activity

DeOrbits and Retrievals– policy options

(1) Analytic Model for orbital Debris Environmental Management, David L. Talent, Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 508-513, 1992

(2) Office of Science and Technology, Nov 1995 Interagency Report on Orbital Debris

(3) http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/18/world/asia/18cnd-china.html?ex=1326776400&en=3f5fb4a065572bbb&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

(4) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-satellite_weapon

(5) Survey of past on-orbit fragmentation events, Carmen Pardini, Acta Astronautica 56 (2005) 379-389

(6) Future Planned Space Traffic: 1990-2010 and Beyond, Phillip D. Anz-Meador, AIAA/NASA/DOD Orbital Debris Conf., April 16-19, 1990, Baltimore MD

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

The System

DEBRIS SOURCES

Nations Vying for Space Superiority

Nation’s Technological Development

Nations Wanting Access to Space

New Space Programs

SPONTANEOUS EXPLOSIONS

ANTI-SATELLITE TEST

COLLISIONS

ORBITAL SPACE DEBRIS POPULATION

Solar Flux

DEORBIT, RETRIEVAL

DECAY

DEBRIS SINKS

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

200000 Objects in LEO! [1cm or larger]

500000 by 2050 (1998 U.N. Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer-Space prediction)

Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee, 43rd Session

http://www.orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/photogallery/beehives/LEO1280.jpg

CNES/ill.D.DUCROS,1999

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Conceptual Model

Solar Flux

Collision Block

Decay Block

SSN Catalog

c1

c2

s1

s2

s3

c3

s4

c4

Holding Tanks

1m

10 cm

1cm

1mm

initialization

est. of untrackable objects

w1

g3

w1

g4

w1

g1

w1

g2

New Satellites

Input

BreakupBlock

ASAT Input

s1

s2

s3

s4

Exit

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Reference Behavior (measurement)

Number of Catalogued Space Objects (typically 4 in. or larger)

200-300 / yr

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Reference Behavior (simulation)

NASA EVOLVE PROJECTIONS

SOURCE: http://www.orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/newsletter/pdfs/ODQNv10i2.pdf

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Preliminary Extend Model

USER

INTERFACE

PIB EQUATION

LEVELS

COEFFICIENTS

COUNTERS, PLOTTERS, AND CONSTANTS

EXCEL

INTERFACE

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Particle In a Box Equation

new objects; mostly policy-driven

debris sweep rate- a policy measure

crude attempt to model modulating effect of solar activity

orbit decay; crude and semi-empirical

temporary place-holder, suggesting dependence on altitude

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Notional User Interface

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Extend Deposition Sub-Model

Number of significant fragments generated per explosion (could be stochastic)

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Extend Collisions Sub-Model

Number of significant fragments generated per collision (could be stochastic)

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

4-Tier, 1-Species (to be implemented)

500-800 km

800-1500 km

1500-2000 km

200-500 km

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Critical Simplifying Assumptions

De-Orbit Algorithm– crude, based on average debris diameter, which is turn estimated a function of on-orbit mass, number of orbiting objects, and the simplifying assumption that objects are spherical and of uniform density.

Solar Flux Prediction– I assume a repeating 21 cycle; may be critical for longer-term predictions

Number of Pieces per explosion– 120, could be stochastic

Number of Fragments per collision– 200, could be stochastic

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Preliminary Extend Results (1957-2010)

Solar Activity (F10) and Orbital Decay (N_out)

Solar Activity (Jansky)

Decay (number/year)

Simulation Year

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Preliminary Extend Results (1957-2010)

Significant Objects in Low Earth Orbit (N)

Significant Objects in LEO

Simulation Year

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Preliminary Extend Results (1957-2010)

Satellite Kill Rate (rough estimate)

Collision Coefficient (C)

SAT Kill Rate (#/yr)

Simulation Year

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Preliminary Insights

Will Collisional Cascading Occur?

- maybe, but I’m not seeing it yet (N tends to level out)

Policy and Design – they DO make a difference, for example

- post-mission disposal of upper stages reduces N 20%

- Doubling SAT density (packaging) reduces N 20%

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Forward Work

[NEAR-TERM]

Validation– match reference behaviors; get/implement Kessler’s input

Sensitivity Analysis– screen for critical parameters and fine tune them

4-Tier, 1-Species Implementation – if time allows (for granularity)

[LONG-TERM]

Historical Satellite Database – link to database

Implement as a Discrete Event n-Tier, n-SpeciesSimulation

Simplify user Interface – using Extend Notebook

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Summary

Simulation of orbital accumulation:

Inspired by 1991 paper describing idea of Collisional Cascading

– AKA The Kessler Syndrome

Resources, Reference Behaviors:

Extend6 Simulation Development Environment

SSN Catalog; published historical trends; loads of studies and published papers; Don Kessler

Implementation:

Particle-in-a-Box Continuous Simulation Model

Extend◄►Excel; User “Policy” Interface

Potential Benefits, and Lessons to be Learned:

Dynamics of orbital crowding

Conditions for Collisional Cascading

Space as a Sustainable Resource

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

Publications and Resources

(1) Collisional cascading - The Limits of Population Growth in Low Earth Orbit, Kessler, Donald J., NASA Doc ID 19920036034

(2) Littered Skies, NYTimes.com, 6 Feb 2007, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/06/science/20070206_ORBIT_GRAPHIC.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

(3) Overview of Orbital Space Debris, IPS Radio and Space Services, www.ips.gov.au/Educational/4/2/1

(4) Space Simulation and Modeling - Roles and Applications Throughout the System Life Cycle, Larry B. Rainey editor, The Aerospace Press, El Segundo CA, 2002

(5) Simulation Model of Space Station Operations in the Space Debris Environment, Mark M. Mekaru and Brian M. Waechter, Proceedings of the 1985 Winter Simulation Conference

(6) Collisions of Artificial Earth Orbiting Bodies, L. Sehnal and L. Pospisilova, Publishing House of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 18 Nov 1980

(7) Orbital Debris Environment Resulting from Future Activities in Space, Shin-Yi Su, Center for Space and Remote Sensing Research and the Department of Atmospheric Physics, National Central University, Chung-Li, P.R.C., Taiwan, 23 Oct 2002

(8) The New NASA Orbital Debris Engineering Model, NASA/TP—2002-210780, May 2002 ORDEM2000www.orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/library/ORDEM/ORDEM2K.pdf

Collisional Cascading - T. Di Carlo

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