Creation of a synthetic population of space debris to reduce discrepancies between simulation and observations

Alexis PETIT, Daniel Casanova, Morgane Dumont, Anne LEMAITRE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The number of space debris has increased in the orbital environment, and consequently, the risk of collision between satellites and space debris or space debris and space debris has become a hot topic in Celestial Mechanics. Unfortunately, just a small fraction of the biggest and brightest objects are visible by means of radar and optical telescopes. In the last years, many efforts have been made to simulate the creation of space debris populations through different models, which use different sources and diverse orbital propagators, to study how they evolve in the near future. Modeling a fragmentation event is rather complex; furthermore, large uncertainties appear in the number of created fragments, the ejection directions and velocities. In this paper, we propose an innovative way to create a synthetic population of space debris from simulated data, which are constrained by observational data, plus an iterative proportional fitting method to adjust the simulated population by statistical means. The final purpose consists in improving a synthetic population of space debris created with a space debris model helped by an additional data set which allows to converge toward a new synthetic population whose global statistical properties are more satisfying.

Original languageEnglish
Article number79
JournalCelestial Mechanics & Dynamical Astronomy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2018


  • GEO region
  • Iterative proportional fitting method
  • Microsimulation
  • Space debris
  • Synthetic population


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