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A decade of growth

Anz-meador, Phillip D. 1, Johnson, Nicholas L.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


This paper examines the Space Surveillance Network catalog's growth in low Earth orbit (LEO) and the geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) over the decade 1990-2000. During this time, innovative space utilization concepts, e.g. the Iridium and Globalstar commercial communication satellite constellations, have increased the public's consciousness of space. At the same time, however, these constellations have increased spatial density at their operational altitudes. Other regions of space have grown steadily in terms of number, mass, size, and operational lifetime. In this work we categorize launch traffic by type, mass, and size. GEO traffic is further categorized by operational longitude. Because growth itself defines only the instantaneous environment, we also examine the higher-order derivatives of growth and the effects of fragmentations on the environment.