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The critical density theory in LEO as analyzed by EVOLVE 4.0

Krisko, Paula H. 1, Opiela, John N. 1, Kessler, Donald J.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 critical density theory is revisited with NASA's long-term debris environment model, EVOLVE 4.0. Previous studies were based on incomplete data and simplifying assumptions. Recent data of ground-test and on-orbit breakups and fragment decay have been utilized within the EVOLVE 4.0 structure to realistically model the projected low Earth orbit (LEO) debris environment. The EVOLVE 4.0 predictions over a 1000-year time period are shown to be consistent with the earlier predictions of simpler models; however, EVOLVE 4.0 is shown to be able to eliminate the simplifying assumptions in these earlier models and be a more accurate tool in understanding the most effective migration measures to limit future population growth.