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Titre du document / Document title

ORION : Clearing near-Earth space debris using a 20-kW, 530-nm, Earth-based, repetitively pulsed laser

Auteur(s) / Author(s)

PHIPPS C. R. (1) ; ALBRECHT G. ; FRIEDMAN H. ; GAVEL D. ; GEORGE E. V. ; MURRAY J. ; HO C. ; PRIEDHORSKY W. ; MICHAELIS M. M. ; REILLY J. P. ;

Affiliation(s) du ou des auteurs / Author(s) Affiliation(s)

(1) Advanced Optical Systems Development Group, Mail Stop E543, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, ETATS-UNIS

Résumé / Abstract

When a large piece of space debris forced a change of flight plan for a recent U.S. Space Shuttle mission, the concept that we are trashing space as well as Earth finally attained broad public awareness. Almost a million pieces of debris have been generated by 35 years of spaceflight, and now threaten long-term space missions. The most economical solution to this problem is to cause space debris items to reenter and burn up in the atmosphere. For safe handling of large objects, it is desired to do this on a precomputed trajectory. Due to the number, speed, and spacial distribution of the objects, a highly agile source of mechanical impulse, as well as a quantum leap in detection capability are required. For reasons we will discuss, we believe that the best means of accomplishing these goals is the system we propose here, which uses a ground-based laser system and active beam phase error correcting beam director to provide the impulse, together with a new, computer-intensive, very high-resolution optical detection system to locate objects as small as 1 cm at 500-km range. Illumination of the objects by the repetitively pulsed laser produces a laser-ablation jet that gives the impulse to de-orbit the object. A laser of just 20-kW average power and state-of-the-art detection capabilities could clear near-Earth space below 100-km altitude of all space debris larger than 1 cm but less massive than 100 kg in about 4 years, and all debris in the threatening 1-20-cm size range in about 2 years of continuous operation. The ORION laser would be sited near the Equator at a high altitude location (e.g., the Uhuru site on Kilimanjaro), minimizing turbulence correction, conversion by stimulated Raman scattering, and absorption of the 530-nm wavelength laser beam. ORION is a special case of Laser Impulse Space Propulsion (LISP), studied extensively by Los Alamos and others over the past 4 years.

Revue / Journal Title

Laser and particle beams    ISSN  0263-0346   CODEN LPBEDA 

Source / Source

1996, vol. 14, no1, pp. 1-44 (1 p.1/4)

Langue / Language

Anglais

Editeur / Publisher

Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, ETATS-UNIS  (1983) (Revue)

Mots-clés anglais / English Keywords

Instrumentation

;

Space debris

;

Destruction

;

Reentry

;

Ablation

;

Laser facilities

;

Pulsed lasers

;

Concept

;

Space propulsion reactors

;

Mots-clés français / French Keywords

Appareillage

;

Débris spatial

;

Destruction

;

Réentrée

;

Ablation

;

Installation laser

;

Laser pulsé

;

Concept

;

Réacteur propulsion spatial

;

Mots-clés espagnols / Spanish Keywords

Destrucción

;

Concepto

;

Localisation / Location

INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 20146, 35400004374162.0010

Nº notice refdoc (ud4) : 3109525



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