Seminar by Prof. Baojun Pang on the space debris environment

Prof. Baojun Pang during his visit to Politecnico di Milano

On Tuesday, May 14, Professor Baojun Pang from the Harbin Institute of Technology (China) visited Politecnico di Milano and delivered a seminar on the space debris environment.

Prof. Pang presented the activities in his group related to hypervelocity tests and showcased an impressive video, where a 1 gram plastic pellet was shot against a 2 kg aluminium ingot at a speed of 6 km/s, similar to the orbital speeds of real space debris. The large damages sustained by the aluminium ingot can be seen in the picture below and remind us of the high danger small pieces of debris can pose to operational spacecrafts.

Damages to the aluminum test item after a high-velocity impact test

In the second part of the seminar, Prof. Pang introduced the latest version of the Space Debris Environment Engineering Model (SDEEM 2019). This tool, similar in its scope to NASA’s ORDEM and ESA’s MASTER, aims to provide an assessment of the space debris spatial-temporal distribution. Some of the key advantages with respect to the previous version of SDEEM are a higher orbital range, better modelling of the GEO region, support for large constellations, and the ability to process user-defined space debris populations.

Diagram on SDEEM 2019

We thank Prof. Baojun Pang for his visit, and our own Simeng Huang for all her support in organizing this seminar.