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Estimation of Debris Dispersion Due to a Space Vehicle Breakup During Reentry
Acta Astronautica (2013)
  • Mahmut Reyhanoglu, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach
  • Juan Alvarado
"This paper studies the problem of the estimation of the extent of the airspace containing falling debris due to a space vehicle breakup. A precise propagation of debris to the ground is not practical for many reasons. There is insufficient knowledge of the initial state vector, ambient wind conditions, and the key parameters including the ballistic coefficients. In addition, propagation of all debris pieces to the ground would require extensive computer time. In this paper, a covariance propagation method is introduced for the estimation of debris dispersion due to a space vehicle breakup. The falling debris is simulated, and the data are analyzed to derive the probability of debris evolution in different altitude layers over time. The concept of positional probability ellipsoids is employed for the visualization of the results. Through a case study, it is shown that while the results of the covariance propagation method are in close agreement with those of the Monte Carlo method, the covariance propagation method is much more computationally efficient than the Monte Carlo method."--From publisher's website.
  • Spacecraft breakup,
  • reentry debris dispersion
Publication Date
May, 2013
Citation Information
Mahmut Reyhanoglu and Juan Alvarado. "Estimation of Debris Dispersion Due to a Space Vehicle Breakup During Reentry" Acta Astronautica Vol. 86 (2013) p. 211 - 218 ISSN: 0094-5765
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