Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Anselmo L., Pardini C. The Long-Term Evolution of the Italian Satellites in the GEO Region and their Possible Interaction with the Orbital Debris Environment. In: International Astronautical Congress (Bremen, Germany, 29 September - 3 October 2003). Proceedings, vol. IAC-03-IAA.5.2.05 pp. 1 - 10. AIAA, 2003.
Four Italian satellites have been launched, so far, in geostationary orbit: SIRIO, Italsat 1, Italsat 2, and SICRAL. The latter is the only one still operational: in fact, Sirio was abandoned close to the geopotential equilibrium point at 75 E in 1985, Italsat 1 was re-orbited above the geosynchronous altitude at the beginning of 2001 and Italsat 2 was moved, in July 2002, below the synchronous height, due to an unexpected malfunction. A study was carried out in order to investigate and quantify the long-term environmental impact of the abandoned satellites on the geosynchronous region. As they were all successfully passivated, eliminating the possibility of future explosions, the only significant detrimental effect on the environment might derive from catastrophic collisions with other sizable space objects. However, the probability of such events resulted to be extremely low, of the order of 10^(-7) in one century.
Subject Italian GEO satellites
long-term evolution
debris environment
J.2 Physical Sciences and Engineering

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