Debris model, debris, fragmentation, modeling, simulation, space shuttle
After the accident of the STS 107 Columbia Space Shuttle, great concern has been focused on the risk associated to the population on the ground. Before this accident happened, re-entry routes as well as risk calculation of were not of public concern. Two issues that have been raised from this lamentable accident relate to spacecraft security and to public safety. The integration of a debris model has been part of the original conceptual architecture of the Virtual Range Project. Its integration has been considered as a specific research due to the complexity of the models and the difficulties to obtain them since the commercial off-the-shelf available software seems to be less accessible. This research provides solid information concerning what debris fragmentation models are, their fundamentals, their weaknesses and strengths. The research provides information of the main debris models being currently used by NASA which have direct relationship with the space programs conducted. This study also addresses the integration of a debris model into the Virtual Range Project. We created a provisional model based on the distribution of the Columbia debris fragments over Texas and part of Louisiana in order to create an analytical methodology as well. This analysis shows a way of integrating this debris model with a Geographic Information System as well as the integration of several raster and vector data sets which will provide the source data to compute the calculations. This research uses population data sets that allow the determination of the number of people at risk on the ground. The graphical and numerical analysis made can lead to the determination of new and more secure re-entry trajectories as well as further population-related security issues concerning this type of flights.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Industrial Engineering and Management Systems
Modeling and Simulation
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Robledo, Luis, "Analysis And Integration Of A Debris Model In The Virtual Range Projec" (2004). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 231.