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  • An In-orbit Observatory Satellite with Variable Monitoring Frequency for Space-Debris Disposal Missions

    Paper ID



    • Mohammad Bagher Malaek
    • Elmira Zohrevandi


    Sharif University of Technology






    This work describes the basis for the frequency required for effective monitoring of the so called “Space-Debris” and associated missions known as “Reentry Disposal Mission (RDM)”. This work in-line with previous works of the authors demonstrates the foundation of a successful monitoring of a targeted “Space-Debris” (TSD). We demonstrate that any successful RDM requires two major sub-system; (1) a Grabber satellite (GrabSat); which is designed to have a rendezvous with the TSD and (2) an observer satellite (SLAMSat); which is able to monitor TSD’s position and is able to guide GrabSat toward it. The major concern, here is correlate all contributing factors to that of frequency of the observation. These factors include: (1) The TSD initial orbit and its orbital parameter change due its tumbling rate; (2) The GrabSat initial parking orbit and finally (3) the SLAMSat relative position with respect to the other two agents. With proper simulation techniques, we would be able to indicate the importance of tumbling-rate in RDM. In fact, we show that, with different shapes and masses any TSD might have, there exist a tumbling-rate above which the possibility to have a successful rendezvous with the TSD decreases to zero. Or equivalently, the frequency of observations tends to infinity. Based on the simulation results, we compute 1. The orbital characteristics of the parking orbit for the observatory satellite (SLAMSat), and 2. The SLAMSat cameras’ characteristics together with the frequency of the observation By comparing the camera specifications with the current technology level, we have concluded that a new level of technology should be achieved to increase the potential of successful execution of such missions. To further highlight the effectiveness of the current approach, we apply the process to the so called Swisscube; while we indicate the proper frequencies of Swisscube monitoring as well as the GrabSat; which is expected to dispose it. Keywords: Reentry Disposal Mission, Tumbling Space-Debris, Monitoring Frequency