Accession Number:

ADA633333

Title:

End-of-Life Disposal of Satellites in Geosynchronous Altitude (Space and Missile Systems Center Standard)

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE SPACE COMMAND LOS ANGELES AFB CA SPACE AND MISSILE SYSTEMS CENTER

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-03-19

Pagination or Media Count:

58.0

Abstract:

End-of-life disposal of an Earth-orbiting satellite means 1 removing the satellite from the region of space where other satellites are operating so as not to interfere with these other users of space in the future, and 2 assuring that the disposed object is left in an inert state and not capable of an internally generated explosive event that could release debris and threaten operating satellites. For satellites operating in the geosynchronous belt, the most effective means of disposal is to reorbit the satellite to a super-synchronous orbit, above the region of operating spacecraft and the maneuver corridor used for relocating operating satellites to new longitudinal slots, and then to discharge batteries, vent propellants, and take other actions to eliminate the possibility of a debris-producing event. This report specifies requirements for 1 planning for disposal of satellites operating at geosynchronous altitude to ensure that final disposal is sufficiently characterized that adequate propellant will be reserved for the maneuver, 2 selecting final disposal orbits where the satellite will not reenter the operational region in the foreseeable future, 3 executing the disposal maneuver successfully, and 4 depleting all energy sources onboard the vehicle prior to end-of-life to minimize the possibility of a debris-producing event. Techniques for planning and executing space hardware disposal are provided that reflect current internationally accepted guidelines and consider current operational best practices. This revision incorporates the results of recent technical studies by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee on limiting the initial eccentricity of the disposal orbit to ensure that the disposed satellite does not reenter the region of operating and maneuvering satellites for at least 100 years.

Subject Categories:

  • Unmanned Spacecraft
  • Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE