AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 66. Space Debris: Natural, Cosmic and Manmade
Topical Session Oral, Wednesday, June 5, 2002, 2:30-4:00pm, 4:15-6:00pm, San Miguel

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[66.05] Large Area Dust Detectors For Dangerous Orbital Debris

F.J. Giovane (NRL)

Large Man-made debris represents a growing destructive hazard to space vehicles and astronauts. Hypervelocity particles in the range of 0.5 to 50 mm can damage or destroy a spacecraft or its instrumentation, however, the population of debris in this size range, even for low earth orbits, is not well known. Generally, particles in this range are not normally observed from the ground, either by optical or radar systems, and existing active in-situ detection systems are so limited in their detection area so as to create significant statistical uncertainties in the population of debris in this size range. In order to increase our knowledge of the particle population, their orbits, and composition, two large area detection systems are being considered for flight by the Department of Defense Space Test Program.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.