Methods and Apparatus for Mitigating Space Debris with Autonomous SDCM's
New methods and apparatus comprising robust architectures capable of performing active or passive space debris collection/mitigation protocols are described. Systems for a solar-powered propulsion system used in combination with self-contained, remotely controlled space debris collection modules (SDCM’s) with brake-sail apparatus to affect apsis of debris and particulates are discussed. Protocols for protection of installations, e.g., ISS, space hotel structures and space craft are advanced. New methods for employing detection/avoidance protocols and disclosure of newly-designed space debris collection modules (‘SCDC’s) for mitigating space debris in earth’s atmosphere are disclosed.
Currently, about 19,000 pieces of debris larger than 5 cm (2.0 in) are tracked and included in NASA’s Space Debris Inventory database. Any of these can damage space apparatus. Proposed are new methods comprising a solar-powered propulsion system, installation detection/avoidance protocols and disclosure of newly-designed space debris collection modules (‘SDCM’s) for mitigating space debris clutter in the earth’s atmosphere. New SDCM’s are designed specifically for collection and removal of space debris and for providing improved individual protection to space craft and to protect space stations from 3potential damage caused by impact/collision with large/small pieces of space debris (SD). The apparatus comprising the SDCM’s conform to UNOOSA/COPOUS and OST requirements with regard to no weapons in space. Advantages of the proposed methods and apparatus are as follows: 1. Reduced size and weight, 2 -3 times smaller than conventional SD Collectors; 2. Higher efficiency providing for 3-4 times collection capture-storage volume; 3. Reduced fuel expense; 4. No limits in size of SD targeted for capture; 5. Can easily be vectored to enable collision avoidance protocols to protect selected space craft, LEO space habitats, or stations (e.g., International Space Station); 6. Meets the UNOOSA/COPOUS/OST requirement that no systems or hardware mimic or can be considered to comprise a ‘space weapon’.