Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Two-and-a-half months after the Indian ASAT test: What's Up?

On 27 March 2019, India conducted it's first succesful Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test, destroying Microsat-R on orbit. I have blogged on this before here, here, here and here; and published a detailed OSINT analysis of this test in The Diplomat, in which I have shown that the Indian version of events concerning this ASAT test is not entirely correct.

So what is the current situation? The Indian government claimed right after the test that 45 days after the test, the space debris generated by the ASAT test would be gone. We are now a month after that deadline. Is everything gone indeed? Far from it.

Some 92 larger debris pieces resulting from the test have been catalogued by CSpOC. Of these, 56,  i.e. some 60% were still on orbit 45 days after the ASAT test. And 46 (that is 50%) were still in orbit on June 15, one full month after all should have been gone according to the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). These numbers are in line with my earlier forecast here.

The diagrams below visualize these data, including (grey lines) a new forecast for the remainder of the debris still orbiting. The top diagram is the cumulative percentage of reentered debris from the test, the lower diagram gives the number of objects reentering per week.

click diagram to enlarge
click diagram to enlarge

Many of these objects still on-orbit have apogees still well into the range of operational satellites, i.e. they remain a threat to other objects in space. In my current forecast for these remaining objects, at least 5 objects will stay in orbit for at least a year to come, and the last one might not reenter until mid-2021. So clearly, Indian DRDO estimates were much too optimistic.

click diagram to enlarge


Menon said...

The truth seems to be the causality. Facts from Wikipedia:-

"There are estimated to be over 128 million pieces of debris smaller than 1 cm (0.39 in) as of January 2019. There are approximately 900,000 pieces from one to ten cm. The current count of large debris (defined as 10 cm across or larger[10]) is 34,000.[5] The technical measurement cutoff is c. 3 mm (0.12 in).[11] Over 98 percent of the 1,900 tons of debris in low Earth orbit (as of 2002) was accounted for by about 1,500 objects, each over 100 kg (220 lb).[12] Total mass is mostly constant despite addition of many smaller objects, since they reenter the atmosphere sooner. Using a 2008 figure of 8,500 known items, it is estimated at 5,500 t (12,100,000 lb).[13] "

Whats India's contribution? 10!! 128 Million debris don't count but 10 Indian debris count. Is that not hilariously vicious?

Using three mon old data is nothing but an unpardonable scientific sin. The latest figure seems to be 10 as of June.

What is the agenda behind this, please? It is certainly not scientific research. Looks more like Anti-India propaganda based post

De waarheid lijkt de oorzaak te zijn. Feiten van Wikipedia: -

"Er worden naar schatting meer dan 128 miljoen stukjes puin kleiner dan 1 cm (0.39 in) vanaf januari 2019. Er zijn ongeveer 900.000 stuks van één tot tien cm. De huidige telling van grote brokstukken (gedefinieerd als 10 cm over of groter [10]) is 34.000. [5] De cutoff voor technische metingen is ca. 3 mm (0,12 inch). [11] Meer dan 98 procent van de 1.900 ton puin in een lage baan om de aarde (vanaf 2002) was goed voor ongeveer 1.500 objecten, elk meer dan 100 kg. [12] Totale massa is meestal constant, ondanks toevoeging van veel kleinere objecten, omdat ze eerder terugkomen in de atmosfeer. Met een 2008-cijfer van 8.500 bekende items wordt deze geschat op 5.500 t ( 12.100.000 pond). [13] "

Wat is de bijdrage van India? 10 !! 128 miljoen puin telt niet, maar 10 Indiase puin tellen. Is dat niet hilarisch wreed?

Het gebruik van drie oude gegevens is niets anders dan een onvergeeflijke wetenschappelijke zonde. Het laatste cijfer lijkt vanaf juni 10 te zijn.

Wat is hier de agenda achter, alstublieft? Het is zeker geen wetenschappelijk onderzoek. Lijkt meer op een op anti-India-propaganda gebaseerde post

Translated using google translate.

Menon said...

Please do not say that these are not from ASAT test. Whether it is ASAT test or otherwise debris are debris. There is no difference. The using of such a discrimination is intended to fool readers

Zeg alsjeblieft niet dat deze niet van de ASAT-test komen. Of het een ASAT-test is of anders puin is. Er is geen verschil. Het gebruik van een dergelijke discriminatie is bedoeld om lezers voor de gek te houden

jim oberg said...

"Looks more like Anti-India propaganda based post"

These ASAT objects are in orbits threatening the International Space Station, and such low orbits are harder to predict because of variations in air drag. Those thousands of other objects you refer to, mostly don't get low enough to potentially impact the ISS, and those that do are catalogued for accurate warnings.