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Modeling the long-term evolution of space debris

United States Patent

9,586,704
March 7, 2017
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
A space object modeling system that models the evolution of space debris is provided. The modeling system simulates interaction of space objects at simulation times throughout a simulation period. The modeling system includes a propagator that calculates the position of each object at each simulation time based on orbital parameters. The modeling system also includes a collision detector that, for each pair of objects at each simulation time, performs a collision analysis. When the distance between objects satisfies a conjunction criterion, the modeling system calculates a local minimum distance between the pair of objects based on a curve fitting to identify a time of closest approach at the simulation times and calculating the position of the objects at the identified time. When the local minimum distance satisfies a collision criterion, the modeling system models the debris created by the collision of the pair of objects.
Nikolaev; Sergei (Sacramento, CA), De Vries; Willem H. (Livermore, CA), Henderson; John R. (Castro Valley, CA), Horsley; Matthew A. (Danville, CA), Jiang; Ming (Dublin, CA), Levatin; Joanne L. (Livermore, CA), Olivier; Scot S. (Livermore, CA), Pertica; Alexander J. (Livermore, CA), Phillion; Donald W. (Dublin, CA), Springer; Harry K. (Pleasanton, CA)
Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (Livermore, CA)
13/ 875,580
20140330544
May 2, 2013
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.