Enhanced Meteoroid/Debris Analysis Tool


Development of an enhanced version of the ESABASE/DEBRIS analysis tool together with the software documentation.


Products & Information

Summary Description:


ESABASE/DEBRIS was developed in 1990. It is a software simulation tool to assess the number of impacts and the resulting damage from meteoroids and space debris particles to spacecraft in low Earth orbit for user specified mission parameters and shielding designs. The tool is based on existing environment flux and damage models. It uses a statistical approach and allows a fully 3-dimensional analysis.

Main user specified input parameters for an analysis are:

  • Spacecraft geometry and attitude
  • Mission parameters
  • Flux models to be used for meteoroids and space debris
  • Particle size and velocity range to be analysed
  • Shielding design
  • Damage class and equation

Main output parameters are:

  • Number of impacts
  • Impact directions and velocities
  • Number of damage events (holes, craters, penetrations)
  • Probability of no damage

An example of an application of the existing ESABASE/DEBRIS tool is given in the figure below. For the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) it shows the predicted number of impacts per m2 from meteoroids larger than 10 micron. These results are for the period of 3.62 years from the start of the HST until the retrieval of the solar array in December 1993.


Hubble space telescope within ESABASE application

Such predictions can be compared to the actual number of impacts found, when the retrieved HST solar array was closely examined for impact features.


Main enhancements of the new ESABASE/DEBRIS tool are:

  • The implementation of a new space debris model (The  new NASA engineering model, ORDEM 96)
  • Enhanced meteoroid models (streams, directional effects, velocity distributions)
  • Enhanced generic damage equations
  • Secondary ejecta analysis
  • Improved user options and interface




An enhanced version of the ESABASE/DEBRIS analysis tool together with the software documentation.





The contract was completed mid in 1998. The new ESABASE/DEBRIS tool should become available outside of ESA around mid 1999.




Related Publications:


H. Sdunnus, G. Drolshagen and C. Lemcke, ‘Enhanced Meteoroid/Debris 3-D Analysis Tool’, Proc. Second European Conf. on Space Debris, Darmstadt, 17-19 March 1997, ESA SP-393, pp 655-660, 1997.



Related Subjects:

EURECA and HST Solar Array Post-Flight Impact Studies.

Standard In Situ Impact Detector (DEBIE).

Geostationary Orbit Impact Detector (GORID)




HTS (CH, prime), ACM (CH), Matra Marconi Space (F), ONERA/CERT/DERTS,

with consultancy from: Unispace Kent, Max-Planck Institut f. Kernphysik (D).


Contact Point within ESA:  G. Drolshagen