Laser air-based power plant for space debris combat

Thermal engines, electric propulsion and power plants for flying vehicles


Avdeev A. V.*, Metel'nikov A. A.**

Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University), 4, Volokolamskoe shosse, Moscow, А-80, GSP-3, 125993, Russia



There are no open articles about air-based continuous chemical HF(DF) laser for space debris combat. However, air-based laser installations are operate and maintain easier than space laser installations. This point makes their use attractive for solving space debris problem.

The subject of research is the system of laser air-based power plant (LAPP) — spacecraft (SC) — a fragment of space debris (FSD). The object of research is performance characteristics of major subsystems LAPP for space debris combat. The aim of the research is to define the basic performance characteristics LAPP for space debris combat. In this work carried out LAPP system study. Also functional system diagram and working algorithm of the unit are designed.

There are basic LAPP subsystems:

  • sensor channel;

  • laser channel;

  • acquisition and tracking subsystem;

  • control subsystem.

The main factors which affect LAPP performance are defined. There are LAPP optic system disalignment caused by aircraft vibration and transmitted energy decrease caused by effects of aero-optical disturbances.

In this work was defined permissible guidance system error for space debris combat. Also the transferred energy and the minimum aperture of the laser channel were evaluated in this work.

The calculation was made for system features:

LAPP characteristics:

  •  altitude — 20 km;

  •  pulse energy— 1,35 J;

  •  pulse duration — 10 ns;

SC characteristics:

  • altitude — 250 km;

  • collecting aperture — 15 m;

In summary, the minimum aperture of the laser channel was defined as 0,08 m. The maximum guidance system error was evaluated as 7’’. The maximum guidance accuracy was 3’’.


space debris, laser air-based power plant, DF-laser


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