J. Gambi, M. Garcia del Pino, J. Gschwindl, E. Weinmüller:
"Post-Newtonian equations of motion for LEO debris objects and space-based APT laser systems.";
The equations for relative motions in space introduced in this paper are necessary for (hypothetical) space-based acquisition, pointing and tracking systems endowed with very narrow laser beams to reach the pointing accuracy required to throw middle size low Earth orbit debris objects into the atmosphere. In fact, no matter how demanding
the scenario might be, using these equations will allow the operators to overcome the hardest difficulty they will face.This difficulty shall arise when they try to account for the corrections needed to balance the deviation of the line of sight directions due to the curvature of space along the paths the laser beams will travel. To minimize these corrections,the systems will have to perform initial positioning manoeuvres according to a specific procedure. In order to deal with the remaining corrections, the shooting point-ahead angles will have to be adapted in real time. As a matter of fact, from the numerical experiments carried out in this work, we may conclude that neglecting both actions will most probably cause fatal errors. The reason is that neglecting these corrections will result in space deviations from the actual locations of the objects of the order of their size within the operative ranges of the pointing systems.
Space-based APT laser systems, LEO space debris, relative motions, Earth post-Newtonian framework.
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