CLEANSPACE - Small debris removal by laser illumination and complementary technologies

 

logo cleanspaceA screw, a glove, a piece of an antenna broken off from an old satellite. Thousands of small sized pieces of space waste orbit Earth. Such debris is hazardous for satellites. The CLEANSPACE project anticipates using laser technology to do a proper clean up.

This study is an answer to FP7 Security research call SPA-2010-2.3.02 that answers to the need to protect space assets from orbit collision. The number of debris in Low Earth Orbit is exponentially increasing with, in the short term, potential inter debris collisions. For medium size debris (between 1 cm and several dozens of cm) no effective and affordable protecting solution is available. It’s why research and technology activity in this field is becoming the corner stone of European Space policy in order to protect European satellites and launchers but also securing long term commercial activity. This initiative also intends to protect the environment from chain reaction of debris production.