Space Debris Mitigation

In the Strategic Plan I presented to the ISEC Board during our January 6th meeting, one of my proposals was to choose a common Space-elevator related theme for all of ISEC’s activities.  Each year we would choose a different theme and revolve the following activities around it;

ISEC Technical Study – Each year ISEC will produce a peer-reviewed paper on the year’s theme.

ISEC Academic Competition – Each year, ISEC will award two academic prizes for student papers created on Space Elevator related subject matter.  Undergraduate paper submissions must be on this year’s theme (and yes, this is an early announcement of our Academic Competition – watch this space for more details – coming very soon).

ISEC Library – Each year, ISEC will populate the Space Elevator Wiki with subject matter on this year’s theme.

ISEC Journal – Each year, ISEC will produce a Journal of Space Elevator related articles, centered around this year’s theme.

The theme we have chosen this year is Space Debris Mitigation – what can we do to guarantee the safety of the Space Elevator despite all the stuff which is now orbiting the earth.  As has been pointed out ad nauseum, everything that is in orbit around the earth will, sooner or later, intersect the path of the Space Elevator.  We must have a solution (probably multiple solutions) to this problem.

The ISEC Technical Study will be on this topic.  The study team is headed up by our own Dr. Peter Swan, Ph.D., a long-time expert in this field.

To be eligible for the ISEC Academic award, papers submitted by undergraduates must be on this topic (graduate student submissions may be on any space-elevator related topic).

We have pulled together a team of four people who are now working on building up a database / library of information / papers on this year’s theme and will be updating the Space Elevator Wiki with it.

Our first ISEC Journal (estimated distribution date of Dec 1) will revolve around this theme, though additional space-elevator related topics will also be considered for inclusion.  Note that if you are a member of ISEC, you will get this Journal for free, as part of your membership benefits.

Finally, we are going to be encouraging additional papers on this theme to be presented at this year’s Space Elevator Conferences in the US, Europe and Japan.

So, stay tuned, join ISEC and help us make the Space Elevator a reality!

(Picture of orbital debris from here)