International Journal of Disaster Risk Science
Orbital debris from over 50 years of human activity in space are threatening the operations of existing and future satellites and the sustainability of high-value satellite orbits. This technical memorandum calls for the development of a cadastre that depicts the vulnerability of critical satellite orbits to accumulating orbital debris. A space infrastructure vulnerability cadastre could serve as a governance tool for use by developers and operators of critical space infrastructures to better communicate the current and future vulnerability of high-value orbits to the accumulation of orbital debris. These high-value orbits are susceptible to "loss" for decades or centuries if generation of orbital debris continues unabated. The concept of environmental critical loads is applied to heavily used orbits as a way to indicate acceptable debris density for satellite operations, and when debris density / risk thresholds approach unacceptable levels that reduce the probability of sustaining spacecraft operations in those orbits.
Original Publication Citation
Gheorghe, A. V., & Yuchnovicz, D. E. (2015). The space infrastructure vulnerability cadastre: Orbital debris critical loads. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 6(4), 359-371. doi: 10.1007/s13753-015-0073-2
Gheorghe, Adrian V. and Yuchnovicz, Daniel E., "The Space Infrastructure Vulnerability Cadastre: Orbital Debris Critical Loads" (2015). Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Faculty Publications. 4.