Re: Rumours about a Russian ASAT test creating debris field?

From: Marco Langbroek via Seesat-l <>
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2021 14:15:40 +0100
Op 16-11-2021 om 08:29 schreef Richard Cole:

> I doubt the interceptor achieves orbital velocity (or greater in order to catch up). The ASAT interceptor is launched downrange so debris from the interceptor will impact away from the launch site. The faster target approaches the interceptor from the anti-velocity direction, the interceptor has to manoeuvre to 'get in the way', so to speak.

Just before the weekend, taking advantage of the first sets of orbital elements 
for the debris issues the day before by CSpOC, I posted this analysis:

It includes a distribution of the ejection velocities I calculated for 207 
Kosmos 1408 fragments, based on the change in orbit relative to the original 
(pre-ASAT) satellite's orbit. It compares it to similar data from the USA 193 
intercept and the Indian ASAT test of 2019.

The analysis seems to confirm that this was a relatively low kinetic energy 
event: compared to the other two ASAT events, the distribution of ejection 
velocities peaks at somewhat lower velocities and is more compact, lacking the 
tail towards higher ejection velocities (> 200 meter/s) that the debris from the 
other two events show.

Of course, it should be realized here that this is based on early, incomplete 
data, and there might be instrumental bias involved that is biased against 
detecting debris with higher ejection velocities in this stage of tracking. 
Still, the overall picture seems to fit a low-energy event with the target 
rear-ending into the warhead rather than taking a high-speed hit face-on.

- Marco

Dr Marco Langbroek  -  SatTrackCam Leiden, the Netherlands.

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Received on Sun Dec 05 2021 - 07:17:05 UTC

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