Author Topic: USAF seeks space debris defense  (Read 20290 times)

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #40 on: 04/19/2016 01:45 PM »
Not to be a grumpy gus, sounds like an extra layer of bureaucracy that will bloat costs, with no real benefits.

Sounds more to me like the "vision" behind the original concept of GPS -- that it is funded by, and primarily for, use by the military, but if you twist our arms hard enough, we'll begrudge the commercial sector some degraded information out of the system.

It doesn't sound like USAF wants to release their sensor data to FAA and then let FAA tell them and the rest of the world how to maneuver their birds.  Sounds more like they want to keep doing everything they've always done, but just for their own birds.  The FAA can then get "non-military-grade" versions of the space fence data and use that to offer steering advice to the rest of the world -- maintaining that "edge" of the best data for military uses.  I mean, that follows the pattern established in any number of other military technology development programs, right?
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #41 on: 04/19/2016 03:24 PM »
Would be simpler just to task and fund USAF with the whole job. Create collision threats for the military and civilian users. 
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Online AncientU

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #42 on: 04/20/2016 01:37 AM »
While dodging debris is an improvement over not dodging it, is there any effort or plan or even hint of a plan to actually begin debris clean-up?  I suspect that we'll be true to form and wait until we are in the full crisis mode -- Kessler cascade has begun -- before we start a crash (no pun intended) program to fix it.
so far just talk and endless powerPoint development but everyone is so far to scared to make the first move to actually act on the present data. The keep prodding other to make the first move but no one is budging except those that want to do ASAT testing as the contribution.

Thanks -- bad news, though.
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Offline Jim

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #43 on: 04/20/2016 01:44 AM »
While dodging debris is an improvement over not dodging it, is there any effort or plan or even hint of a plan to actually begin debris clean-up?

Who is going to pay for it?

Offline edkyle99

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #44 on: 04/20/2016 02:58 AM »
While dodging debris is an improvement over not dodging it, is there any effort or plan or even hint of a plan to actually begin debris clean-up?

Who is going to pay for it?
How about the same people that put it up there to begin with, which is to say, predominately, governments. 

I see it as a needed task that can be performed steadily, and I suspect affordably, over a long period of time. 

 - Ed Kyle

Online AncientU

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #45 on: 04/22/2016 02:53 AM »
While dodging debris is an improvement over not dodging it, is there any effort or plan or even hint of a plan to actually begin debris clean-up?

Who is going to pay for it?


If sufficient 'bounty' was placed on every de-orbited chunk of junk -- using space junk creating and/or space using nations' cash -- there would be something of a gold-rush to remove the problem debris.  A mega-centrally-planned effort (standard model National space effort) could never be funded sufficiently nor would it ever succeed in getting the job done.

So, if your question implies -- "should the USAF or NASA or ESA do it?" -- the answer is no. 
But they should pay for results and enable someone else to do it.

Access to space is in the National interest.

Or we could just ignore the problem...
« Last Edit: 04/22/2016 02:54 AM by AncientU »
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Offline Jim

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #46 on: 04/22/2016 02:00 PM »

If sufficient 'bounty' was placed on every de-orbited chunk of junk -- using space junk creating and/or space using nations' cash


Again, who is going to pay for it?  NASA, USAF or ESA isn't.  nor is Russian or China.

Offline Prettz

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #47 on: 04/22/2016 09:03 PM »
While dodging debris is an improvement over not dodging it, is there any effort or plan or even hint of a plan to actually begin debris clean-up?

Who is going to pay for it?
How about the same people that put it up there to begin with, which is to say, predominately, governments. 

I see it as a needed task that can be performed steadily, and I suspect affordably, over a long period of time. 

 - Ed Kyle
Unfortunately it'll probably work out exactly the same as with governments spending to avoid global warming: extremely little, and only after it's mostly too late.

Online LouScheffer

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #48 on: 04/29/2016 03:11 PM »

If sufficient 'bounty' was placed on every de-orbited chunk of junk -- using space junk creating and/or space using nations' cash
Again, who is going to pay for it?  NASA, USAF or ESA isn't.  nor is Russian or China.
As a theoretical idea, generate a fund by charging launchers $1M for every piece of debris they leave in an orbit with a lifetime of over 25 years.  Since boosters sometimes blow up long after launch, the launcher would either need to post a bond (to be returned after 25 years, or re-entry, whichever comes first, if no debris), or show they have insurance.  All money collected goes to fund debris mitigation.

This would have two effects.  First, launch providers would spend more time and effort to make less debris (to lower the cost of their insurance), and there would money to clean stuff up.  Over time, the $1M per piece could be adjusted to make the program break even.

Online Hog

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #49 on: 05/01/2016 04:25 PM »
Though this idea would never "fly" if an entity wants to launch a certain amount of mass into orbit, that entity must remove the same mass of space debris from orbit.  Akin to planting a tree after harvesting a tree.
If only the policy was adopted from the very first space launch.
Paul

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #50 on: 05/01/2016 09:24 PM »
A seedling does not weigh nearly as much as a full grown tree...
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Online Hog

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #51 on: 05/02/2016 02:36 PM »
A seedling does not weigh nearly as much as a full grown tree...

(laughing)That assertion is dependant upon the species of seedling vs. the species of said full grown tree.  (self moderated)

late for my daily stool softener, I'll leave one out for you on the countertop
(seriously)I was thinking more in terms of humans attempting to return an environment to its original state, after said humans have used that same environment.

« Last Edit: 05/02/2016 02:58 PM by Hog »
Paul

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #52 on: 05/05/2016 12:37 AM »
A seedling does not weigh nearly as much as a full grown tree...

(laughing)That assertion is dependant upon the species of seedling vs. the species of said full grown tree.  (self moderated)

late for my daily stool softener, I'll leave one out for you on the countertop
(seriously)I was thinking more in terms of humans attempting to return an environment to its original state, after said humans have used that same environment.

"Leave nought but footprints, take nought but memories."
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #53 on: 05/05/2016 02:00 PM »
you forgot the last line, kill nothing but time
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Offline mikelepage

Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #54 on: 08/22/2016 08:20 AM »

If sufficient 'bounty' was placed on every de-orbited chunk of junk -- using space junk creating and/or space using nations' cash


Again, who is going to pay for it?  NASA, USAF or ESA isn't.  nor is Russian or China.

Insurers/underwriters of satellites?  The less debris there is up there, the less often they have to pay out.  It's a real (and increasing) risk they have to factor into their assessments, so there should be some profit to them in cleaning up the debris.

And if you want to get really dystopian about it, any space debris removal system is also technically an anti-satellite weapon.  So imagine that some such entity goes to the cost of putting up a "clean-up crew" constellation of robots which manages to clear out a particular set of orbits of debris.  Anyone else tries to put up a bird in that orbital region without paying the toll, finds their satellite getting accidentally "cleaned up" with the rest of the debris.
« Last Edit: 08/22/2016 08:23 AM by mikelepage »

Online high road

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #55 on: 08/22/2016 11:20 AM »

If sufficient 'bounty' was placed on every de-orbited chunk of junk -- using space junk creating and/or space using nations' cash


Again, who is going to pay for it?  NASA, USAF or ESA isn't.  nor is Russian or China.

Insurers/underwriters of satellites?  The less debris there is up there, the less often they have to pay out.  It's a real (and increasing) risk they have to factor into their assessments, so there should be some profit to them in cleaning up the debris.

Exactly. They have a vested interest in estimating and controlling the risk. Comparable to Swiss Re's investment in climate change research, because it'll have an impact on damage claims.

On the other hand, underwriters of insurance companies that underwrite satellites (possibly add a few steps) are bureaucratic monsters. They won't start paying for damage control until damage claims have started to increase considerably. If the technology isn't ready by that time, it'll take years more to develop it. So in the meantime, we still need government/XPrize/? support for developers, to avoid too much of a runaway effect.

And as you say, having more and more trouble to protect their military satellites, governments will be spending more on the development of debris removal systems, while being more willing to condone/usurp potential satellite-removal capabilities. Again, if the technology is ready when push comes to shove, the transition will be relatively mild.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #56 on: 08/23/2016 09:24 AM »
Anyone else tries to put up a bird in that orbital region without paying the toll, finds their satellite getting accidentally "cleaned up" with the rest of the debris.

Interfering with another nation's satellite is a direct violation of the Outer Space Treaty and I'm sure the AST (or whoever is in charge) would take a dim view on such activities for US satellites.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline mikelepage

Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #57 on: 08/23/2016 09:41 AM »
Anyone else tries to put up a bird in that orbital region without paying the toll, finds their satellite getting accidentally "cleaned up" with the rest of the debris.

Interfering with another nation's satellite is a direct violation of the Outer Space Treaty and I'm sure the AST (or whoever is in charge) would take a dim view on such activities for US satellites.

I did preface that comment with the "dystopian" caveat.  Obviously I'm talking beyond the foreseable future :P

More seriously, I do wonder if LEO might ever get so crowded that we have a situation where satellite companies buy the rights to certain orbital altitudes the same way radio/tv stations lay claim to particular radio frequencies.  I know I'm assuming circular orbits - but especially for LEO that may be the best way to pack the most satellites into a given volume.  If your company had the rights to (for example) the 600-610km zone, then you could put as many birds in that zone as you wanted, but it would also be your responsibility to ensure 99%+ of the objects in that zone were functioning satellites on not space debris, and companies could be fined or even lose the rights if they didn't keep their area clean.

Offline Jim

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #58 on: 08/23/2016 02:13 PM »

If sufficient 'bounty' was placed on every de-orbited chunk of junk -- using space junk creating and/or space using nations' cash


Again, who is going to pay for it?  NASA, USAF or ESA isn't.  nor is Russian or China.

Insurers/underwriters of satellites? 

Most of the debris is not from commercial spacecraft.  So no insurers/underwriters

Offline Jim

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #59 on: 08/23/2016 02:14 PM »

Exactly. They have a vested interest in estimating and controlling the risk.


Wrong.  It is cheaper to pay out once in a while vs cleaning up

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