Space Debris Removal: Technology, Missions and Science

Space Debris Removal: Technology, Missions and Science

Prof Inna Sharf, McGill University

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Feb. 15, 2022 19:00


Space debris has become a subject of popular interest in media and in scientific community. The space debris problem, not so much a problem now, but a potentially big problem in the future, can be remediated by using active debris removal strategies. We discuss two prominent technologies for debris capture and our work on robotic and tethered-net capture, as part of a debris removal mission. Our recent research on space debris remediation explores the possibility of exploiting a resonance between the effect of solar radiation pressure, the effect of Earth’s oblateness (J2 perturbation) and rotational motion of debris, for its deorbitation. Finally, we conclude with fundamental results and insights into the rotational motion of the ‘most wanted’ debris in Low Earth Orbit—the defunct spacecraft Envisat—and with comparisons between our attitude propagation results and observations of Envisat.

engineering space travel astronomy robotics