Dilution of Disposal Orbit Collision Risk for the Medium Earth Orbit Constellations
AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CA
Pagination or Media Count:
Previous studies have shown that disposal orbits for the medium Earth orbit constellations can be unstable and undergo significant long-term eccentricity growth. This can lead to repenetration of the constellations by disposed vehicles, thereby posing a collision risk. The study presented here investigated the possibility of diluting disposal orbit collision risk by exploiting long-term eccentricity growth. The Galileo constellation was selected as an example. Various disposal strategies were considered. It was found that high eccentricity growth strategies can reduce the combined constellation and intra-graveyard collision risk relative to a minimum eccentricity growth strategy. High eccentricity growth strategies also offer the option of significantly increasing the percentage of disposed vehicles that will re-enter the atmosphere within 200 years after disposal rather than remain on orbit for thousands of years. High eccentricity growth strategies thereby offer an effective and potentially inexpensive option for medium Earth orbit debris mitigation.
- Unmanned Spacecraft
- Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry
- Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control
- Space Navigation and Guidance