Searching for lost fragments in GEO

Hitoshi Ikeda, Toshiya Hanada, Tetsuo Yasaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper attempts to search the lost fragments from the near-synchronous US TitanIIIC transtage explosion of February 21, 1992, known as the second major fragmentation of a TitanIIIC transtage. This breakup was accidentally observed by the Maui GEODSS sensor, and then a total of 23 objects were reported from the breakup, no orbital data on any fragments has been generated by the SSN. In order to evaluate the debris cloud orbital evolution, we demonstrate the actual US TitanIIIC transtage explosion by using breakup model and orbit propagator. The perturbing accelerations, considered in this analysis are the non-spherical part of the Earth's gravitational attraction, the gravitational attraction due to the Sun and Moon, and the solar radiation pressure effects. Finally, we will present a search strategy based on distribution of the right ascension of the ascending node about the catalogued objects and the debris particles from the US TitanIIIC transtage explosion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1312-1317
Number of pages6
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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