Space Debris Detection with ADLER-1
Gernot Groemer1, Willibald Stumptner1, Marvin Schumacher1
1 Austrian Space Forum
ADLER-1, a 3U CubeSat, launched in January 2022 to measure small space debris particles at ca. 500 km altitude. Two instruments are implemented: Firstly, APID (Austrian Particle Impact Detector), able to measure particles in the range of down to ca. 10 µm. Given ESA’s MASTER model and the instrument properties, we expect more than 100 impact events over the projected lifetime of at least one year. The detector provides impact energy data derived from a deployable piezoelectric detector array.
Secondly, a continuous-wave radar measures both radar cross section and Doppler-derived velocity vectors for larger mm-sized particles. Both payloads are intended as in-orbit validation of the detection technique and shall contribute to complement the ESA MASTER-model with in-situ data sets.
We report on the sensor technology and the first two months of operation of ADLER-1 and its automated data processing pipeline.
The ADLER-1 mission is a joint project of the Austrian Space Forum, Findus Venture and SPIRE Global.