Simulation of in-space fragmentation events

Simulation of in-space fragmentation events

Lorenzo Olivieri, Cinzia Giacomuzzo, Stefano Lopresti, Alessandro Francesconi

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Abstract. In the next years the space debris population is expected to progressively grow due to in-space collisions and break-up events; in addition, anti-satellite tests can further affect the debris environment by generating large clouds of fragments. The simulation of these events allows identifying the main parameters affecting fragmentation and generating statistically accurate populations of generated debris, both above and below detection thresholds for ground-based observatories. Such information can be employed to improve current fragmentation models and to reproduce historical events to better understand their influence on the non-detectable space debris population. In addition, numerical simulation can also be employed to identify the most critical object to be removed to reduce the risk of irreversible orbit pollution. In this paper, the simulation of historical in-orbit fragmentation events is discussed and the generated debris populations are presented. The presented case-studies include the COSMOS-IRIDIUM collision, the COSMOS 1408 anti-satellite test, the 2022-151B CZ-6A in-orbit break-up, and a potential collision of ENVISAT with a spent rocket stage; for these events, results are presented in terms of cumulative fragments distributions and debris orbital distributions.

Space Debris, Fragmentation, Break-Up, Numerical Simulations

Published online 11/1/2023, 4 pages
Copyright © 2023 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA

Citation: Lorenzo Olivieri, Cinzia Giacomuzzo, Stefano Lopresti, Alessandro Francesconi, Simulation of in-space fragmentation events, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 37, pp 465-468, 2023


The article was published as article 102 of the book Aeronautics and Astronautics

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