The Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) was convening for their 37th meeting just outside the eternal city, at the headquarters of the Agenzia Spaciale Italiana (ASI). This body, consisting of all the major national space agencies as well as the European Space Agency (ESA), is dealing with pressing issues related to space sustainability and space debris mitigation. Topics that are being discussed, among many others, are the effects of post-mission disposal in terms of the future evolution of the space debris population, or how indices could be defined to help identifying objects critical to the environment.
Representing the Politecnico di Milano, Stefan was part of the ASI delegation, bringing in the expertise of the COMPASS group. Stefan studies in detail the evolution of fragmentation clouds in orbit. This allows to estimate the effects a potential explosion or collision has towards other space missions in terms of subsequent collision risk. Further topics studied in the COMPASS group with the sustainable use of space in mind are finding re-entry highways that can reduce the lifetime of decommissioned satellites or finding constellation configurations that consider the collision risk over the full life cycle of a satellite.