Taxonomy of LEO Space Debris Population for ADR Selection

Marko Jankovic, Frank Kirchner

In: Proceedings of the 67th International Astronautical Congress. International Astronautical Congress (IAC-2016) September 26-30 Guadalajara Mexico Seiten 1-15 International Astronautical Federation (IAF) 9/2016.


The following paper presents a novel taxonomy method for LEO space debris population. The goal of the method is to provide a new way of classifying low Earth orbit (LEO) space debris objects to support future ADR missions and aid decision making. The method is formulated in two layers. In the first layer, a taxonomic tree is used to identify the main class of an object, based on its most prominent dynamical and physical traits. In the second layer, the hazard of an object and its level of non-cooperativeness are identified and the selection of the most suited ADR capture method, from a safety perspective, is performed. This is done by defining the break-up risk index and levels of non-cooperativeness of targets, based on their passivation state, age, angular rate, physical properties of the capture interface, etc. Examples of application of the developed taxonomy are presented and conclusions are drawn regarding the best methods to be used for the main categories of LEO space debris under investigation for future ADR missions.


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20161005_IAC2016_Paper-MJankovic.pdf (pdf, 673 KB )

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence