Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Pardini C. Survey of past on-orbit fragmentation events. In: Acta Astronautica, vol. 56 (3) pp. 379 - 389. Elsevier, 2005.
Following the first on-orbit fragmentation, the explosion of the Transit 4A rocket body on June 29 1961, 165 breakups were recorded up until August 31 2001. So far, only three collisional breakups have been reasonably confirmed, while the remaining 162 fragmentations resulted from explosions. The aim of this paper is to assess the contribution of these on orbit fragmentation events to the cataloged and undetected orbital debris population. To do this, the largest pieces of fragmentation debris were extracted by the U.S. Space Command catalog of August 31 2001, and subsequently assembled for families or single events, then counted and graphically represented. The contribution to the undetected debris population was investigated using CLDSIM, a dedicated software system, in order to simulate and propagate the debris clouds produced by each fragmentation event. The characteristics and properties of the fragmentation debris population, obtained by merging the cataloged and undetected particles, were then analyzed.
Subject Space debris
Historical fragmentation events
J.2 Physical Sciences and Engineering

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