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New ESA project simulates satellite crashes to prevent space debris collisions



While we have never had a scenario such as Gravity the risk of space-junk collisions in Earth orbit is steadily increasing as we launch more and more satellites into space.

There is still no It's a huge risk as most of these satellites are constantly being tracked by agencies like NASA or sometimes the FCC (unless startups try to launch rogue satellites without permission, which has happened), but it is enough of a problem when a serious crash It must happen, we need to know what we can expect.

What the European Space Agency (ESA) intends to do with a new simulation project for crash satellites. And a lot of satellite crashes will be tested in virtual orbit, because while astronomers and government agencies often assume that they can predict how a satellite crash would expire, the four recorded accidents have shown.

According to Holder Krag, head of the ESA space debris department, only one of the four crashes occurred in a predictable manner, with the two unfortunate satellites collapsing and creating debris clouds after ramming each other had. The others were more complicated, and one reason why we could not predict that is because no one has ever really tried to do it thoroughly.

Two different types of digital simulations are performed: the first focuses more on how specific metal types will deform and bend during an orbital crash, with very detailed replicas of the programmed materials. The second looks at the bigger picture of the satellites and how different connected parts interact during the energy transfer that occurs during a collision.

When combining both types of simulations, ESA hopes they will have a better idea of ​​how to deal with fallout during real business. Tiziana Cardone, an ESA civil engineer in charge of the project, said in an official press release:

  Opening quote

"We want to understand what happens when two satellites collide – a lot of assumptions so far how the very high collision energy would dissipate, but we do not have a solid understanding of the physics involved. We want to be able to visualize in detail how the satellites would dissolve and how many debris these would produce to the quality of our models and predictions

  Final Quote

Again, a satellite collision is unlikely, but more and more satellites are being launched. And once SpaceX has set up its vast network of advanced Internet satellites, it will populate an already populated sky even more.


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