De-orbit time of on-orbit debris for laser-based removal methods
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Karampudi, Prathyusha; Dutta, Atri. 2017. De-orbit time of on-orbit debris for laser-based removal methods. 27th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, vol. 160:pp 3521-3530
The amount of space debris in the near-Earth space environment poses a major challenge for current and future space missions. Controlling the growth of on-orbit debris utilizing on-orbit debris removal missions is of great importance for sustained space operations. This paper focusses on the laser-based removal of on-orbit debris utilizing the physical process of ablation. We consider the momentum change of the debris due to laser ablation and investigate the de-orbit times for debris that has cubic and spherical shapes. Our focus is on modeling the de-orbiting process as a low-thrust transfer under the action of continuous perturbation forces. We present numerical results for a variety of starting orbits for the debris.
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