The debris from space is an important problem for the scientists responsible with the protection of Earth from extraterrestrial hazards.
Being a subject whose importance is of international level, eliminating the space debris has been considered recently by a global team of scientists, with the Japanese Riken research institute being one of the main leaders of the study. The researchers who take part in this study have announced to have discovered a way to remove the space debris,
The ambitious plan of an international group of scientists is based on developing a system that can shoot the space debris with lasers.
The innovative system is made by two main components: a super efficient fiber optic based laser and a wide field of view telescope built by EUSO team from the Japan’s Riken research institute.
The telescope was originally designed to detect ultraviolet light which is coming from the ultra-high-energy cosmic rays which are entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
Toshikazu Ebisuzaki, one of the scientists in charge of the project, believes that it could be utilized to detect high-velocity space debris fragments at twilight.
Once such a debris is observed by the system then it would give orders to the laser to discharge an intense pulse of light onto the object.
The debris is destroyed by the process named plasma ablation. In this process one side of the debris is subjected to intense heats and transform into plasma, While the plasma will harden, the proces would create thrust, bringing the debris down to be destroyed when reentering the atmosphere.
The Riken scientists recently published its intentions in the journal Acta Astronautica.
Now, the team of researchers want to install a small, similar system aboard the International Space Station using a 100 strand laser and a 20 cm telescope.
”If that goes well,“we plan to install a full-scale version on the International Space Station, incorporating a three-meter telescope and a laser with 10,000 fibers, giving it the ability to deorbit debris with a range of approximately 100 kilometers. Looking further to the future, we could create a free-flyer mission and put it into a polar orbit at an altitude near 800 kilometers, where the greatest concentration of debris is found,” Riken team leader Toshikazu Ebisuzaki said in a news release.
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