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De-orbiting Model for Cleaning Irregularly Shaped Space Debris with Laser Radiation
H. Chang, X. Jin, Y-J Hong and X-Q. Li

The growing population of space debris in the size range of 1 to 10 cm around the Earth has been posing a tremendous threat to space missions and assets. The proposal of using a ground-based laser has been viewed as the most feasible method to clean them. In previous work, shapes of debris objects were always assumed to be slabs; however, most of them were irregular. In this study we calculated the impulse of spheres, cylinders and cones by laser radiation. Then, a de-orbiting model was constructed. Simulation results indicated that fragments of a sphere could re-entry atmosphere during a single pass over the ground-based laser while fragment of a cone and a cylinder couldn’t in our assumed de-orbiting conditions.

Keywords: Laser radiation, space debris, irregular shape, momentum change, de-orbiting model

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