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Space Debris Darmstadt 2017 Print

7th European Conference on Space Debris

ESA/ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany

18-21 April 2017

Final Program is now available

Findings from the 7th European Conference on Space Debris:

Call for a sustainable future in space (ESA, 21 April 2017)
With more than 750 000 pieces of dangerous debris now orbiting Earth, the urgent need for coordinated international action to ensure the long-term sustainability of spaceflight is a major finding from Europe’s largest-ever conference on space debris.

International consensus on debris threat (ESA, 21 April 2017)
Despite progress in technology, and in understanding the space environment, the need for significantly increasing the pace in applying proposed measures to reduce debris creation has been identified at Europe’s largest-ever space debris conference.

Debris Background

Since 1957, more than 4,900 space launches have led to an on-orbit population today of more than 18,000 tracked objects. Only 1,100 are functional spacecraft. The remaining 94% are space debris, i.e. objects which no longer serve any useful purpose. About 64% of the routinely tracked objects are fragments from some 250 breakups, explosions and collisions of satellites or rocket bodies. In addition, there is evidence of a much larger population of debris that cannot be tracked operationally. An estimated number of 750,000 objects larger than 1 cm and 170 million objects larger than 1mm are expected to reside in earth orbits.
Due to relative orbital velocities of up 56,000 km/h, centimeter-sized debris can seriously damage or disable an operational spacecraft, and collisions with object larger than 10 cm will lead to catastrophic break-ups, releasing hazardous debris clouds of which some fragments can cause further catastrophic collisions that may lead to an unstable debris environment in some orbit regions (“Kessler syndrome”). Space debris mitigation measures, if properly implemented by spacecraft designers and missions operators, can curtail the growth rate of the space debris population. Active removal, however, has been shown to be necessary to reverse the debris increase.

To improve our understanding of the space debris environment, assess related risks, mitigate its growth, and control its stability, a multitude of technical disciplines is required. Many of these will be addressed in the course of this conference by recognised experts in their fields.

Programme Committee

Alexander Soucek, ESA
Christian Cazaux, CNES
Christophe Bonnal, CNES
Claudio Portelli, ASI
Frank Schäfer, Fraunhofer EMI
Ian Carnelli, ESA
J.C. Liou, NASA
Ludger Leushacke, Fraunhofer FHR
Luisa Innocenti, ESA
Manuel Metz, DLR
Nicolas Bobrinsky, ESA
Richard Crowther, UKSA
Rosario Nasca, ESA
Thomas Schildknecht, AIUB

Secretary: Tim Flohrer, ESA
Honorary Chair: Heiner Klinkrad, TU Braunschweig
Chair: Holger Krag, ESA

Conference Scope

EUROPEAN CONFERENCES ON SPACE DEBRIS are the largest dedicated gatherings on the subject. Internationally renowned scientists, engineers, operators, lawyers and policy makers meet here to discuss different aspects of space debris research, including measurement techniques, environment modelling theories, risk analysis techniques, protection designs, mitigation & remediation concepts, and policy & legal issues.
During four days the SEVENTH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON SPACE DEBRIS will provide a forum for presenting and discussing latest results, and for defining future directions of research.

Target Audience

The conference will provide a unique forum for information exchange, technical discussions and networking between space debris researchers, engineers & decision takers of industry, policy makers & space lawyers, insurance underwriters, space & ground system operators, institutional organisations (e.g. space agencies, EU, UNCOPUOS, IAA, COSPAR), academia and the defense sector.


radar, optical and in-situ measurements
space surveillance and catalogues
orbit prediction and determination
operational collision avoidance
debris environment modelling and prediction
on-orbit fragmentation assessments
re-entry analyses
debris mitigation techniques and processes
active removal and remediation concepts
hypervelocity impacts and shielding
standardisation, policies, regulation


Authors were invited to submit their abstracts according to the procedure described below.
Each abstract (approximately 500 words) should clearly outline major achievements and innovative ideas.
Abstracts were selected on the basis of:

    interest in the subject by the target audience
    relevance to the conference topics
    originality of the ideas presented
    quality and clarity of the content

Papers must be submitted in English by 10 April 2017, according to the “instructions to authors” (PDF file, updated 28 March 2017, Word file, updated 28 March 2017, Word Template, updated 28 March 2017 or LaTeX TEMPLATE, updated 28 March 2017). English will also be the working language at the conference.

Poster: Instructions to authors for the preparation of posters


    A submitter must be the author or one of the authors of the abstract. Please note that the submission system will not add automatically the submitter name in the list of authors.
    Registration is not required for abstract submission, but presenters of accepted abstracts must register separately.
    Please wait for a confirmation email after registering for submission of abstracts. This email will contain a link for activating your personal account.
    Please keep your password safe.
    Multiple abstract submission per registration/account is possible. A submitter should always use a single account for all her/his abstracts, and for submitting the corresponding paper(s) and presentation(s).
    Please note, that presenting authors need to provide a short bio upon submission.
    Editing of the abstract is possible until the submission deadline.
    A “No Paper – No Podium” rule applies.


European Space Operations Centre
Robert-Bosch-Strasse 5
64293 Darmstadt, Germany


For more detailed information and for online proceedings, please visit the conference website at

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