Thursday, August 12, 2010

New measures for active orbital debris mitigation

Space News (8/9, Werner, subscription required) reported, "Alliant Techsystems (ATK) is proposing plans for a small satellite designed to address one of the most vexing problems facing spacecraft operators in low Earth orbit: debris too small to be tracked by ground-based telescopes but large enough to penetrate satellite shielding." The plans are expected to be "discussed publicly" at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics small satellite conference on Wednesday. "The spacecraft would operate in low Earth orbit as a sweeper or shield, breaking up debris particles and reducing their velocity, according to Jose Guerrero, chief technologist for ATK Spacecraft Division's Systems and Advanced Technology Group." The concept has been discussed with NASA, DARPA, and the US Air Force, "Guerrero said. Further development of the concept, including testing, will require government funding, he added."
Quoted from AIAA Daily Launch

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