Survey of the Current Activities in the Field of Modeling the Space Debris Environment at TU Braunschweig
The Institute of Space Systems at Technische Universität Braunschweig has long-term experience in the field of space debris modeling. This article reviews the current state of ongoing research in this area. Extensive activities are currently underway to update the European space debris model MASTER. In addition to updating the historical population, the future evolution of the space debris environment is also being investigated. The competencies developed within these activities are used to address current problems with regard to the possibility of an increasing number of catastrophic collisions. Related research areas include, for example, research in the field of orbit determination and the simulation of sensor systems for the acquisition and cataloging of orbital objects. In particular, the ability to provide simulated measurement data for object populations in almost all size ranges is an important prerequisite for these investigations. Some selected results on the distribution of space debris on Earth orbit are presented in terms of spatial density. Furthermore, specific fragmentation events will be discussed.