• Mass:
    • Sensor Unit (SU): 560g
    • Data Processing Unit (DPU): 740g
    • Total (4 SU, harness and DPU): 4 kg
  • Power: < 4W
  • Dimensions:
    • SU: 100 mm × 100 mm × 47 mm (w×l×h)
    • DPU: 156 mm × 136 mm × 42.5 mm (w×l×h)

Team: Finavitec (formerly Finnyards, SF), SSF (SF), Metorex (SF), VTT (SF), Unispace Kent (UK)


  • PROBA-1 (October 2001)
  • International Space Station (2008-2009)
Bunte, Karl Dietrich; Jurke, Keith - Noah; Millinger, Mark: Data of European In-situ Impact Detectors for Environment Model Validation. Proceedings 8th European Conference on Space Debris, 8 (1), European Space Agency ESA Space Debris Office, 2021. (Type: Conference | Abstract | Links | BibTeX)
Drolshagen, G.: In-situ Observations of Space Debris at ESA. In: The Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference, pp. E68, 2006. (Type: Inproceedings | BibTeX)
Schwanethal, J.; McBride, N.; Green, Simon; McDonnell, J.; Drolshagen, G.: Analysis of Impact Data from the Debie (debris In-Orbit Evaluator) Sensor in Polar Low Earth Orbit. In: European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP, 587 , pp. 177, 2005. (Type: Journal Article | Links | BibTeX)
Schwanethal, J. P.; McBride, N.; Green, S. F.: Detecting interplanetary and interstellar dust with the DEBIE sensor. In: Warmbein, Barbara (Ed.): Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors: ACM 2002, pp. 75-78, 2002. (Type: Inproceedings | Abstract | Links | BibTeX)
Ekstrand, Veronika; Drolshagen, Gerhard: Comparison of meteoroid and space debris fluxes to spacecraft in Earth orbit. In: Warmbein, Barbara (Ed.): Meteoroids 2001 Conference, pp. 543-550, 2001. (Type: Inproceedings | Abstract | Links | BibTeX)
Kuitunen, Juha; Drolshagen, G.; McDonnell, J.; Svedhem, H.; Leese, Mark; Mannermaa, H.; Kaipiainen, M.; Sipinen, V.: DEBIE - first standard in-situ debris monitoring instrument. 3 (1), European Space Agency, 2001. (Type: Conference | Abstract | Links | BibTeX)
Leese, M. R.; McDonnell, J. A. M.; Burchell, M. J.; Green, S. F.; Jolly, H. S.; Ratcliff, P. R.; Shaw, H. A.: Debie: a Low Resource Dust Environment Monitor. In: Guyenne, T. -D. (Ed.): Space Station Utilisation, pp. 417, 1996. (Type: Inproceedings | BibTeX)

Standard In Situ Impact Detector (DEBIE-1)

Knowledge of the meteoroid and space debris environment is required for a reliable spacecraft risk assessment and for the design of protective shielding. At present our models still have large uncertainties. Particles larger than a few cm in diameter can be detected by radar or optical telescopes from the ground but information on the small-size (sub-millimeter) meteoroid and space debris environment can only by gained by the analysis of retrieved spacecraft or by in-situ monitors in orbit. For orbits above 600 km retrieval of space hardware is not possible and active monitors are required to measure impacting fluxes, their seasonal variations and long term evolution.

DEBIE is a standard low resources meteoroid and space debris in-situ impact detector. The detector monitors sub-millimeter sized particles which impact the detector surfaces. The instrument consists of a central processing unit and up to 4 separate sensor units which can be placed on different spacecraft surfaces. DEBIE-1 uses a combination of impact ionisation, momentum and foil penetration detection. The instrument is designed as a standard detector which can be flown on different spacecraft and missions with little or no modifications.