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Title: Space debris hazard to defense systems

Natural and man-made debris are argued to present hazards to space systems, but recent data indicate that at low altitudes, the impact rates from small particles may have been overestimated by an order of magnitude. At high altitudes, small particles only present an impact hazard to large satellites; they would not support a cascade. Large particles would apparently produce a cascade only on time scales of centuries or millennia. Radar and optical data should be capable of resolving these uncertainties, but their observations are, as yet, inconsistent. While independent analytic and numerical estimates of collision and cascade rates agree, given consistent inputs, different groups produced significantly different estimates of debris growth rates. This note examines the basis for these discrepancies.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
238559
Report Number(s):
LA-UR--96-1009; CONF-9606105--8
ON: DE96008156; TRN: AHC29612%%109
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Space `96: 5. international conference and exposition on engineering, construction, and operations in space and 2. specialty conference on Robotics for challenging environments (RCE-II), Albuquerque, NM (United States), 1-6 Jun 1996; Other Information: PBD: [1996]
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; SPACE FLIGHT; HAZARDS; MILITARY EQUIPMENT; DAMAGE; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; SOLID WASTES; SATELLITES; NATIONAL DEFENSE; SIZE