Summary of Space Debris

碎片组成

In the centimeter range, the dominant source is fragments followed by slag particles from solid rocket motors.


[1]: Horstmann, A., Kebschull, C., Müller, S., Gamper, E., Hesselbach, S., Soggeberg, K., Ben Larbi, M. K., Becker, M., Lorenz, J., Wiedemann, C., and Stoll, E., “Survey of the Current Activities in the Field of Modeling the Space Debris Environment at TU Braunschweig,” Aerospace, vol. 5, Apr. 2018, p. 37.

The third largest contribution is sodium-potassium droplets (NaK droplets) that have been released from orbital nuclear reactors and are highlighted here as an example. These droplets are found today mainly in orbits near 900km altitude and are treated as a historical source due to their early generation but relatively late discovery.

An estimated 250 g have been released per event [23]; however, since these droplets were observed during radar measurements [25], they are considered in the model for the sake of completeness. In total, there are now about 20,000 droplets in space, mostly in orbits near 900km altitude [26].

The contribution of droplets in the entire centimeter population at 800km altitude today is about 10% [23].


TLE


[1]: Horstmann, A., Kebschull, C., Müller, S., Gamper, E., Hesselbach, S., Soggeberg, K., Ben Larbi, M. K., Becker, M., Lorenz, J., Wiedemann, C., and Stoll, E., “Survey of the Current Activities in the Field of Modeling the Space Debris Environment at TU Braunschweig,” Aerospace, vol. 5, Apr. 2018, p. 37.

Two Line Elements that are provided by the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpoC) have a low precision due to the analytic SGP4-propagation theory, which can amount to several hundred meters [41,42], whereas precise orbit data is not accessible to publicity.