It is currently Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:19 pm

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Posts: 5329
Location: Lancashire
Communications satellites are getting smaller and cheaper. Starting next year, there could eventually be hundreds if not thousands of satellites in Earth-orbit - a vast increase in the present 1,300 currently in active use.
This would mean an unprecedented build up of space junk, scientists have warned. Dr. Hugh Lewis at the university of Southampton conducted a 200 year old computer simulation and found that the creation of a mega-constellation of satellites could increase the number of satellite collisions by up to 50 per cent. This would increase space junk, leading to further collisions that could disrupt many services.
Dr. Lewis, a senior lecturer in aerospace engineering, said: "There has been a major paradigm shift in the manufacturing of satellites... The cost of a single communications satellite usually runs to hundreds of millions of pounds, but mass-produced satellites will potentially be much cheaper.
The constellations due to be deployed from next year contain an unprecedented number of satellites - and a constellation launched without much thought will see a significant impact on the space environment because of the increased rate of collisions that might occur."
The ESA ( European Space Agency ) has funded Dr. Lewis's study and has issued a series of guidelines to reduce the risk of collisions. These include reducing a satellite's weight and the time it spends in low orbit, and adding propulsion systems. Also missions should be devised to remove faulty satellites.
Various ways of collecting space junk have already been tested or suggested, including a half-mile aluminium tether launched on a Japanese cargo vessel. The tether was designed to slow debris, pulling it out of orbit. Other ideas include harpooning, sweeping, lassoing and dragging space junk into the atmosphere to burn up.
There are thought to be more than 100 million pieces of space junk in orbit, including equipment from old satellites, tools and discarded rocket parts.


 Profile Send private message  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 

All times are UTC

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group