Stefan Frey of the COMPASS team gave a seminar at the Tsinghua University, Beijing on July 19, regarding the space debris issue. Stefan in his talk, titled “Orbit evolution of space debris: modelling and applications” and co-authored with Camilla Colombo, introduced the different types of space debris, its past evolution and some events that led to an instantaneous increase of several thousands of fragments. He talked about existing environment prediction models and discussed one very efficient way of modelling space debris; through a continuum approach, using averaged dynamics. The semi-analytical integrator allows one to accurately propagate fragments while keeping computational requirements in check. The advantages of using a continuum model are that an increase in number of objects does not increase the time to compute the future state and that it is inherently statistical.
The COMPASS team thanks the Tsinghua University for hosting this seminar!