Dodging debris to keep satellites safe

0
(0)

Our planet is surrounded by spacecraft helping us study our changing climate, save lives following disasters, deliver global communication and navigation services and help us answer important scientific questions.

But these satellites are at risk. Accidental collisions between objects in space can produce huge clouds of fast-moving debris that can spread and damage additional satellites with cascading effect.

In this animation, find out how teams at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, take action to keep satellites safe after receiving an alert warning of a possible collision between an active satellite and a piece of space debris.

When the alert is raised, ESA experts determine the risk of a collision and plan a collision avoidance manoeuvre that can be used to get the satellite out of harm’s way if necessary.

Additional observations of the piece of space debris help the team better understand its path and the risk of collision. If that risk remains too high (typically 1 in 10 000), the planned manoeuvre is carried out to temporarily change the orbit of the satellite until the threat has passed.

Each manoeuvre comes at a price. They take skill and time to plan, cost precious fuel – shortening the lifetime of the mission – and often require instruments to be temporarily shut off, preventing them from collecting important data.

While most alerts do not end up requiring evasive action, the number of alerts is rapidly increasing. Hundreds are already issued every week. Several companies have begun to launch large constellations into low-Earth orbit to provide global internet access. They have great benefits, but could be a source of huge disruption if we do not change our behaviour.

In just a few years, our current methods for avoiding collisions in space will no longer be enough. To safeguard humankind’s continued access to space for future generations, ESA is developing technologies for an automated collision avoidance system.

Find out more: https://space-debris-conference.sdo.esoc.esa.int/

★ Subscribe: http://bit.ly/ESAsubscribe and click twice on the bell button to receive our notifications.

Check out our full video catalog: http://bit.ly/SpaceInVideos
Follow us on Twitter: http://bit.ly/ESAonTwitter
On Facebook: http://bit.ly/ESAonFacebook
On Instagram: http://bit.ly/ESAonInstagram
On Flickr: http://bit.ly/ESAonFlickr

We are Europe’s gateway to space. Our mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. Check out https://www.esa.int/ to get up to speed on everything space related.

Copyright information about our videos is available here: https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Terms_and_Conditions

#ESA
#TimeToAct
#SpaceDebris

Similar Posts:

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

3 Comments

  1. Video compression is notorious for making audio playback unintelligible on some devices but not others. One way to play it safe is to simply stop mixing music and voice. Insert music only when no one talking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.