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Uncertainty assessment for the breakup of satellites due to hypervelocity impacts

Spencer, David B. 1, Akins, Keith A.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


The breakup of a spacecraft or its components due to hypervelocity impact is a very chaotic event. Given the best of conditions, no two breakups will be exactly the same. This uncertainty in the physical processes spills over into attempts to develop computer models to do breakup analysis and future debris environment forecasting. Because of this uncertainty, even the "best" breakup models for hypervelocity impacts of spacecraft components have a large level of uncertainty. Exactly what that uncertainty is remains an unknown. This paper analyzes how statistical information (if available) can be incorporated into debris environment projections.