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Tracking debris in Earth's orbit with centimetre precision using efficient laser technology

05 October 2017

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Uncontrollable flying objects in orbit are a massive risk for modern space travel, and, due to our dependence on satellites today, it is also a risk to global economy. A research team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena, Germany, has now especially developed a fibre laser that reliably determines the position and direction of the space debris' movement to mitigate these risks.

Space debris is a massive problem in low Earth orbit space flight. Decommissioned or damaged satellites, fragments of space stations and other remnants of space missions pose a potential threat of collisions with active satellites and spacecraft every day. In addition to their destructive force, collisions also create additional risk creating thousands of new pieces of debris, which in turn could collide with other objects - a dangerous snowball effect.

Source: Science Daily

Image credit: Photo Fraunhofer IOF - Fighting the perils of space debris: Fraunhofer IOF's fibre laser technology.