Theory of Satellite Fragmentation in Orbit

Theory of Satellite Fragmentation in Orbit

Arjun Tan, Robert C Reynolds


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For over half a century, an increasing number of satellites have fragmented in orbit, creating a large amount of hazardous orbital debris which threaten the safety of useful functioning satellites and space missions. This book discusses the theory behind these fragmentations followed by studies of actual cases.

The book begins with a survey of satellite fragmentations in orbit and the consequent formation of orbital debris in chronological order. Next, the fundamental physical processes underlying satellite fragmentations are outlined and the methods of analyzing satellite fragmentations presented. The rest of the book presents analyses of the major satellite fragmentation events including accidental and intentional breakups, those due to explosions and collisions, as well as those belonging to the unknown category.

  • Preface
  • Satellite Fragmentation and Orbital Debris
  • Physical Processes Underlying Satellite Fragmentations
  • Gabbard Diagram of Breakup Fragments
  • Velocity Perturbations of Breakup Fragments
  • Explosive Fragmentations of Rocket Bodies
  • Soviet Anti-Satellite Tests
  • Solwind P78-1 Fragmentation: US Anti-Satellite Test
  • The Delta 180 Collision Experiment in Space
  • Spot-1 Ariane Rocket Fragmentation in Orbit
  • Fengyun-1C Fragmentation: Chinese Anti-Satellite Test
  • Irdium 33 and Cosmos 2251 Collision in Orbit
  • Explosive Fragmentation of Briz-M Rockets
  • Appendices:
    • Orbital Mechanics of Artificial Earth Satellites
    • Gabbard Diagram Simulations for Elliptical Orbits
    • Generalized Breakup Plots with Breakup Signatures
    • Orbital Debris Newsletters and Satellite Fragmentation Catalogs
  • Index

Readership: Researchers, students, and people interested in satellite fragmentation and space debris.Satellite Fragmentation;Space Debris;Orbital Debris0Key Features:
  • There is a complete dearth of books in the field of satellite fragmentation in orbit. It is hoped that this book will go a long way to fill this important void
  • The authors have a long record of research in this field of study. Along with (departed) Gautam Badhwar, they obtained exact solutions for the velocity perturbations of the fragments of a satellite breakup which are devoid of the drawbacks of the old method used in the past
  • This book presents all the major satellite fragmentation events which had taken place in the last half a century. It presents the salient features of different types of satellite breakups and also uncovers new phenomenology of satellite breakups (e.g., velocity enhancements of certain fragments, sequential fragmentation, etc.) in space