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Activities on space debris in Europe

Flury, W.1
Affiliation data not available1

Document details

Publishing year2001 PublisherESA Publishing typeConference Name of conference3rd European Conference on Space Debris
Pagesn/a Volume
H. Lacoste


Activities on space debris in Europe are carried out by ESA, by national space agencies such as ASI (Italy), BNSC (United Kingdom), CNES (France) and DLR (Germany) and by various research groups. The objectives of ESA's activities in the field of space debris have been defined by the Council of ESA in 1989, and were updated in 2000 with the adoption of the Resolution for a European policy on the protection of the space environment from debris. ESA's debris-related activities comprise research, application of debris mitigation measures and international cooperation. The research activities address the knowledge of the terrestrial particulate environment, risk assessment, hypervelocity impacts and protection, and preventative measures. In all these areas substantial progress has been achieved. Examples are the MASTER 99 model, the DISCOS database, beam-park experiments with the FGAN radar, the discovery of a small-size debris population in GEO with the Space Debris telescope at the Teide observatory, and the GORID dust detector in the geostationary orbit. The ESA Space Debris Mitigation Handbook was issued, and in a joint effort of ESA and the national agencies ASI, BNSC, CNES and DLR the European Space Debris Safety and Mitigation Standard (draft) was established. This standard will be harmonized with standards of other agencies through the deliberations in the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC). In order to strengthen the European cooperation, the pilot network of centers - Working Group on Space Debris was created in 2000. The members are ESA, ASI, BNSC, CNES and DLR. An integrated work plan has been established for the period 2001-2003. Global cooperation among the space-faring nations is achieved through the IADC. ESA and its Member States strongly support the deliberations on space debris within the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS).