Removing Orbital Debris with Pulsed Lasers

  title={Removing Orbital Debris with Pulsed Lasers},
  author={Claude R. Phipps and Kevin L. Bakerb and Stephen B. Libbyb and Duane A. Liedahlb and Scot S. Olivierb and Lyn D. Pleasanceb and Alexander Rubenchikb and James E. Trebesb and E. Victor Georgec and Bogdan Marcovicid and James P. Reillye and Michael T. Valleyf},
Orbital debris in low Earth orbit (LEO) are now sufficiently dense that the use of LEO space is threatened by runaway collisional cascading. A problem predicted more than thirty years ago, the threat from debris larger than about 1cm demands serious attention. A promising proposed solution uses a high power pulsed laser system on the Earth to make plasma jets on the objects, slowing them slightly, and causing them to re-enter and burn up in the atmosphere. In this paper, we reassess this… CONTINUE READING
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