Orbital debris hazard assessment methodologies for satellite constellations

David B. Spencer, K. Kim Luu, W. Spencer Campbell, Marlon E. Sorge, Alan B. Jenkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The expected proliferation of satellite constellations in the near future will tax the space environment in several ways. This paper examines two categories of environmental impacts: the effects of the constellations on the space debris environment and the effects of the environment on the satellite constellations. Included in this paper are issues such as inter-satellite collision hazards for both controlled and uncontrolled spacecraft, intra-satellite constellation collision hazard (collision risks between members of two or more satellite constellations), and collision risk between constellation members and the cataloged and uncataloged space population. Additional analysis of compliance issues with national space policy, voluntary national debris mitigation guidelines, and international concerns are addressed. Debris environmental projections are difficult at best, and the purpose of this paper is to be illustrative of the many steps used to assess hazards posed to or by a satellite constellation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-652
Number of pages14
JournalAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Volume105 I
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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