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Numerical Simulation of the Effects of Removing Small-scale Space Debris Using a Space-based Laser
Q. Wen, L-W. Yang, S-H. Zhao, Y-W. Fang, Y. Wang and R. Hou

This paper investigated the effects of space-based laser irradiating small scale space debris by numerical simulation. Laser ablation impulse coupling models were established by selecting typical materials of small scale space debris. The velocity variation of the space debris ablating by space-based laser was analysed, and the orbit manoeuvre of the small scale space debris irradiating by laser was modelled and investigated. The variations of the orbital parameters of the space debris orbit under the irradiation of high-power pulsed laser were simulated and analysed, and the effects of the spinning angular velocity and impulse coupling coefficient of debris and the power density and repetition of laser on debris removal efficiency were analysed and discussed. The simulation results show that, the assumed space-based laser can complete the mission of removing debris successfully by irradiating in one pass and the effects of the debris removal using space-based laser was described, which validated the feasibility of space-based laser debris removal and provided the necessary theoretical basis for the application of space debris removal by using space-based laser.

Keywords: Space-based laser, space debris, numerical model, impulse coupling, orbit modification

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