The Institute of Technical Physics at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) develops and builds lasers. In the future, lasers will be capable of detecting items of space debris and accelerating the decay of their orbits.
DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
In the laser laboratory at the DLR Institute of Technical Physics, researchers are experimenting with high-power lasers that operate in the kilowatt range.
Laser tracking of space debris.
Space debris (artist’s impression): 20,000 pieces larger than 10 centimetres orbiting the Earth.
Simulated impact of a 12 mm bullet on to an 8 cm aluminium plate at a velocity of 7 kilometres per second.