May 30, 2017

Paper of the Institute of Technical Physics amongst top downloads

Paper of the Institute of Technical Physics amongst top downloads

A paper on the removal of space debris using high-energy lasers submitted by the DLR Institute of Technical Physics, ranks amongst the top downloads of “SPIE Journals and Proceedings”.

In the paper published in the scientific journal “Optical Engineering“, DLR researchers Stefan Scharring, Jascha Wilken, and Hans-Albert Eckel present a theoretical approach how real, arbitrarily shaped objects react on irradiation by high-energy laser-pulses in the absence of gravity.

The basic idea is to manipulate the flight paths of space debris by evaporating surface material of the particles by using laser ablation in such a way as to make them burn up in the earth atmosphere.

The DLR researchers’ simulations show how objects can be deflected taking into account the object’s shape, orientation and position relative to the laser beam as well as material properties and laser beam parameters.

With these insights, the DLR researchers hope for further feasibilities of a systematic removal of debris particles, avoiding risks and damages to active satellites by uncontrolled deviation of objects.

From this point of view, the paper is a further step to fully comprehend risk analysis and prospects of debris removal by lasers.

original publication:

Laser-based removal of irregularly shaped space debris

Stefan Scharring, Jascha Wilken, Hans-Albert Eckel

German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Technical Physics, Studies and Concepts Group, Pfaffenwaldring 38-40, Stuttgart, 70569, Germany

Opt. Eng. 56(1), 011007 (Aug 01, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.OE.56.1.011007