Following the first International Orbital Debris Conference, Camilla and Stefan took the chance of already being present across the pond to visit the University of Texas (UT), Austin, TX, USA on 13 December 2019. Being kindly hosted by Dr. Bandon Jones and Dr. Ryan Russel of the UT’s Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics department, they gave a seminar about their research to interested students and discussed possible collaborations.
Camilla introduced the COMPASS project focusing on its applications in the space debris field and why mitigating the debris problem is important. Stefan presented an efficient way of modelling space debris: through a continuum approach, using averaged dynamics and surrogate modelling. The method is inherently statistical and its workload independent of the number of fragments. The evolution of a cloud of fragments from an upper stage explosion and its negative ramifications on active missions were illustrated and discussed.