700.000 fragmentos de basura espacial catalogados

ABC 06 June 2011

Emmet Fletcher
Space Surveillance and Tracking Manager 

(translated from the original version)

Space junk is now one of the principle threats to orbital satellite systems, thumb information pills on which we depend for a multitude of essential services: from meteorology to the global transport of goods and passengers. It is estimated that a cloud of more than 700, viagra here 000 dangerous debris objects are in Earth orbit and have the potential to damage or destroy operational satellites. This week, epilepsy the first European Conference on Space Surveillance (ESS2011) will be held. Organised by the European Space Agency, it will provide a forum where experts around the world can come together to address the problem

The Earth, surround by space debris (artist impression)

ESS2011 represents a milestone in the search for global solutions to address the problem of space junk. The conference hosts more than 150 experts, leaders in the major issues related to space surveillance, from almost all European countries, plus Australia, Canada, China, South Korea, USA and Japan. There are sessions on policy, the tracking of debris fragments using optical and radar observations, and the needs of future users of the European Space Surveillance System.

In order to avoid the consequences of space debris we need to know where the fragments are, which means developing technologies related to  surveillance radars and telescopes.  As part of the European Space Situational Awareness Preparatory Programme (SSA-PP)_ESA is designing a system to track debris and alert satellite operators when evasive action may be necessary.

The part of the program on space debris is being put in place now. The software alerts of possible impacts by fragments of space junk has just been installed and is currently being tested, make a big difference once everything is running.

The element related to the programme concerned with space debris is being developed. The conjunction prediction and warning software is in the process of being installed and is currently being tested.

In parallel, a pan-European study to evaluate debris tracking sensors has just been completed. The task of these sensors is to locate orbital objects and provide sufficient data to accurately calculate its position and velocity. This way, the position can be calculated in the following hours and days. It is essential to know the accuracy of these sensors in order to ensure that ESA is well prepared to create a European catalogue of objects in orbit.

 Impact Warning

We have also launched two calls for proposals from European Industry regarding two vital areas in the areas of SSA. The first is to develop software capable of processing a huge amount of space surveillance data and correlate them with objects seen previously. This ensures that any catalogue of objects can be maintained and the data is of sufficient precision to provide a useful service. The second call is to provide advanced services in the areas of conjunction prediction and re-entry impact prediction.

Of course, there is much more to be done. In parallel to these activities, we are working with European industry and academia to design the next generation of space surveillance systems. At present, Europe does not have the ability to provide full coverage of all the critical orbital regions. We aim to be able to present a full and comprehensive proposal and the end of 2012. This proposal must be both suitable to provide the needed proposal, as well as be as economic as possible. This is a challenge, but one which European industry is well placed to solve.

Space is a shared resource, and we hope it will remain as such for future generations. There is a common interest to work together to provide a comprehensive solution to the Space Surveillance challenges and this outlines the importance of ESS2011.

We have also launched a call for proposals to European industry for two vital areas in the segment of the SSA space surveillance. The first is to develop software capable of processing a huge amount of space surveillance data, and link the new readings with the objects we have detected in the past. This keeps an updated catalogue of objects, and ensures that data are precise enough to provide a useful service. The second call for proposals is also crucial, and it has to do with the alert service development and re-entry impact.

Of course, there’s more to do. In parallel we are working together with European industry and academia to design the next generation of space surveillance systems and monitoring. At present, Europe cannot really sweep the space and need to provide full, but we must ensure that the design and architecture we propose for the end of 2012 work as expected and realistic cost. This presents a challenge, but I’m sure that with the resources of ESA and Member States will succeed.

The space is a shared resource, and we make sure to remain so in the future. So there is a common interest in comparing experiences in special surveillance. Hence the importance of the conference ESS2011.
ABC 06 June 2011

Emmet Fletcher
Space Surveillance and Tracking Manager 

(translated from the original version)

Space junk is now one of the principle threats to orbital satellite systems, more on which we depend for a multitude of essential services: from meteorology to the global transport of goods and passengers. It is estimated that a cloud of more than 700, refractionist 000 dangerous debris objects are in Earth orbit and have the potential to damage or destroy operational satellites. This week, page the first European Conference on Space Surveillance (ESS2011) will be held. Organised by the European Space Agency, it will provide a forum where experts around the world can come together to address the problem

The Earth, surround by space debris (artist impression)

ESS2011 represents a milestone in the search for global solutions to address the problem of space junk. The conference hosts more than 150 experts, leaders in the major issues related to space surveillance, from almost all European countries, plus Australia, Canada, China, South Korea, USA and Japan. There are sessions on policy, the tracking of debris fragments using optical and radar observations, and the needs of future users of the European Space Surveillance System.

In order to avoid the consequences of space debris we need to know where the fragments are, which means developing technologies related to  surveillance radars and telescopes.  As part of the European Space Situational Awareness Preparatory Programme (SSA-PP)_ESA is designing a system to track debris and alert satellite operators when evasive action may be necessary.

The part of the program on space debris is being put in place now. The software alerts of possible impacts by fragments of space junk has just been installed and is currently being tested, make a big difference once everything is running.

The element related to the programme concerned with space debris is being developed. The conjunction prediction and warning software is in the process of being installed and is currently being tested.

In parallel, a pan-European study to evaluate debris tracking sensors has just been completed. The task of these sensors is to locate orbital objects and provide sufficient data to accurately calculate its position and velocity. This way, the position can be calculated in the following hours and days. It is essential to know the accuracy of these sensors in order to ensure that ESA is well prepared to create a European catalogue of objects in orbit.

 Impact Warning

We have also launched two calls for proposals from European Industry regarding two vital areas in the areas of SSA. The first is to develop software capable of processing a huge amount of space surveillance data and correlate them with objects seen previously. This ensures that any catalogue of objects can be maintained and the data is of sufficient precision to provide a useful service. The second call is to provide advanced services in the areas of conjunction prediction and re-entry impact prediction.

Of course, there is much more to be done. In parallel to these activities, we are working with European industry and academia to design the next generation of space surveillance systems. At present, Europe does not have the ability to provide full coverage of all the critical orbital regions. We aim to be able to present a full and comprehensive proposal and the end of 2012. This proposal must be both suitable to provide the needed proposal, as well as be as economic as possible. This is a challenge, but one which European industry is well placed to solve.

Space is a shared resource, and we hope it will remain as such for future generations. There is a common interest to work together to provide a comprehensive solution to the Space Surveillance challenges and this outlines the importance of ESS2011.

We have also launched a call for proposals to European industry for two vital areas in the segment of the SSA space surveillance. The first is to develop software capable of processing a huge amount of space surveillance data, and link the new readings with the objects we have detected in the past. This keeps an updated catalogue of objects, and ensures that data are precise enough to provide a useful service. The second call for proposals is also crucial, and it has to do with the alert service development and re-entry impact.

Of course, there’s more to do. In parallel we are working together with European industry and academia to design the next generation of space surveillance systems and monitoring. At present, Europe cannot really sweep the space and need to provide full, but we must ensure that the design and architecture we propose for the end of 2012 work as expected and realistic cost. This presents a challenge, but I’m sure that with the resources of ESA and Member States will succeed.

The space is a shared resource, and we make sure to remain so in the future. So there is a common interest in comparing experiences in special surveillance. Hence the importance of the conference ESS2011.

information pills ‘Times New Roman’, ‘Bitstream Charter’, Times, serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; white-space: normal;”>Article relating to the news article broadcast on Antena 3 TV on the 12 June 2011:

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La Agencia Espacial Europea (ESA) está diseñando un sistema para clasificar y catalogar los más de 700.000 fragmentos de basura que los científicos estiman hay en el espacio, un sistema que pretende evitar colisiones y mejorar la seguridad de los satélites y otros instrumentos actualmente en uso.

Esta es una de las iniciativas de las que se ha hablado en la Conferencia Europea sobre Vigilancia Espacial celebrada esta semana en Madrid, a la que han acudido 180 expertos de varios países. Los investigadores creen que los satélites están amenazados por más de 700.000 fragmentos de basura espacial y para evitar una colisión es necesario conocer y monitorizar su trayectoria con ayuda de radares y telescopios, de ahí que la ESA esté trabajando en un sistema para detectar los objetos espaciales “peligrosos”.

Según ha relatado Emmet Fletcher, responsable del segmento de vigilancia espacial del programa europeo de “Conocimiento del Medio Espacial” (SSA en sus siglas en inglés) de la ESA, actualmente hay en órbita unos mil satélites activos. Lo que ahora trata de hacer la ESA, ha continuado, es generar un catálogo de todos los objetos peligrosos que orbitan la tierra (EEUU tiene clasificados unos 22.000 de estos fragmentos).

Entre los 700.000 trozos que se cree que hay en el espacio, existen desde pedazos de un centímetro hasta satélites enteros ya en desuso y bastaría la menor de estas piezas para estropear un satélite, chatarra que se triplicará en los próximos 20 años. Catalogar es, entre otros parámetros, conocer la posición y velocidad del objeto, con lo que los investigadores saben hacia dónde va y comparan así la órbita de éstos con la de un satélite.

“Podemos calcular si coinciden y si lo hacen podemos dar avisos a los operadores de los satélites para que maniobren con seguridad y con el menor uso de combustible, y evitar el choque”, según Fletcher. Fletcher, quien ha declarado que siempre se intenta avisar al operador lo antes posible -no más tarde de 72 horas antes de la supuesta coincidencia de un pedazo de basura con el satélite-, ha manifestado que la ESA ya está trabajando en el citado catálogo, aunque será en 2012 cuando los países, en una reunión ministerial, den su visto bueno definitivo y se establezca un presupuesto.

Prueba de este trabajo es que recientemente se ha completado el desarrollo de un software de última generación capaz de alertar a los satélites cuando exista el riesgo de impacto con un fragmento de basura espacial. “De momento estamos probando el sistema utilizando datos de fragmentos de basura espacial ya conocidos. Es el primer paso hacia el software que se utilizará cuando Europa disponga de su propia capacidad de vigilancia del medio espacial”, ha afirmado Fletcher.

Este catálogo es una de las tres patas del programa de Conocimiento del Medio Espacial (SSA), cuyo objetivo es desarrollar e implementar un sistema de alerta temprana, pero no sólo respecto a colisiones espaciales, sino también en cuanto a impactos de objetos naturales contra la Tierra y en relación a la meteorología espacial. Desde 2009 se trabaja para definir la estructura técnica del sistema, para lo que primero se está evaluando la capacidad de la infraestructura ya existente en Europa, como radares de investigación científica y telescopios, que podrían incorporarse al futuro sistema SSA.

El programa SSA ha sido otro de los temas debatidos en la conferencia de Madrid, de cuyos resultados Fletcher ha asegurado sentirse satisfecho. “El espacio es un bien común y nos hemos puesto al día”, ha concluido este experto.

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