chapter  3
20 Pages

Mathematical Model for Space Debris Evolution, Production and Self-Production

The methods for investigating the space debris evolution are now being developed rather rapidly (Reynolds, 1991; Krisko, 1999; Bendisch et al., 1999; Walker et al., 1999). The most widespread approach to space debris production and evolution forecasts (models EVOLVE, MASTER and IDES) is based on tracking all the space objects using traditional methods of celestial mechanics (Reynolds, 1991 ). The sources of contamination are being modelled stochastically. The results are averaged after a sufficient number of realisations. The disadvantages of such an approach are evident: the method is too costly and time consuming even for simplified statistically averaged contamination models. Introducing into traditional models more realistic break-up and fragmentation models each being time consuming as well will make long-term forecasts practically impossible because the time required for numerics will grow exponentially along with the number of collisions on approaching the cascade process.