Sourabh Kaushal

Sourabh Kaushal

ISTK/ Kurukshetra University

Title: Space Debris Mitigation using De-Orbit Kit Technique


I am very much passionate about space science and technology and doing research on Space Debris and Space Elevator system. We proposed some new methods to mitigate Space Debris ( The collection of objects in orbit around earth that were created by human beings but no longer serve as any useful purpose in space and threat to our satellites, ISS and also threat to the life of astronauts.) that include use of decayable material for the construction of space machines and reenter, use of nanotube mesh technique using laser &nanobots, recycling of space debris for the formation of space structure, energy production from space debris and De-orbit Kit technology using micro-satellite and robotic arm. Currently, I am INK Fellow in association with TED.
I received runner up “Jerome Pearson Award 2010” by International Space Elevator Consortium, USA in association with NASA, Microsoft, and LSW and received“Dr. KalpanaChawla Young Scientist Award” 2012 at the age of 23 years for my research work on space debris mitigation.


Space debris has become a growing concern in recent years, since collisions at orbital velocities can be highly damaging to functioning satellites and can also result into more space debris. Some spacecraft, like the International Space Station, are now armored to deal with this hazard. Armor and mitigation measures make satellites or human spaceflight vehicles like the shuttles very expensive and heavy. Man-made orbital debris continues to pose a threat to manned and unmanned missions in Earth orbit. Not only does the problem of orbital debris put at risk man made craft, it also endangers the lives of passengers in current and future manned spaceflight. An analysis of currently proposed methodologies for orbital debris mitigation and space remediation was compiled and an evaluation of their potential applications was performed. The analysis covers a broad spectrum of proposed solutions for a variety of different types of orbital debris. During our analysis the realization was made that the highest concentration of defunct satellites is found in Low Earth Orbit (Henceforth referred to as L.E.O.). Also determined was that current methodologies proposed for de-orbiting satellites in L.E.O. were mostly designed for de-orbiting a single space- craft per Mission. This helped narrow our search for a solution. De-orbit Kit using Satellite and Robotic arm In this technique our main target is 46% non-functional satellites or other defunct objects in LEO. We began developing a methodology with the primary objective of de-orbiting multiple defunct space craft within the scope of a single mission. We propose a solution in the form of a satellite system serving as a delivery unit which houses a plurality of remote operated semi-self-attaching de-orbiter modules. These are assisted in deployment via robotic arm which is fixed to the delivery satellite chassis. The whole mission is divided into four phases from launching to de-orbiting of de-functional object followed by ejection of satellite system (delivery unit) into LEO at a height of 600-2000KM (depend upon the target object) and detection & de-orbit installation system phase (Detection can be done with the help of photon camera/sensor attached on satellite, optical sensors or database from IADC). In this technique we can use different module for both satellite system and de-orbit kit. Moreover, the modules may include the communication system used for communicate between ground based station, satellite system and de-orbit kit, electrical power system (which include solar panel array and li-ion battery), OITC (Orbital intercept and thrust control system), altitude determination and control system, de-orbit installation system and robotic arm assembly armature and at-last de-orbit kit, which comprises of GPS system, computer control and communication modules. The most imperative aspect of this new technique is that we can easily de-orbiting multiple de-functional objects with in one mission and off-course low budget. The total aim of this mission is to de-orbit more than 40% of de-functional objects with in less amount of time. Conclusion All attempts to remove orbital debris from the Earth's orbit will be valuable to the International community, as it will provide for not only optimal solutions in solving the space junk and space debris crisis, but also the subsequent accumulation of scientific and intellectual knowledge will be of extreme value for the future (Crowther 2002). As we have found that some aspects of this type of technology are not readily available in the International market place. This project needs to be created from scratch, the most logical and effective means to achieve this goal is by employing the strategy of crowd-sourcing expertise from all scientific and research domains in order to ensure all systems meet and exceed industry standards. We also believe an injection of funds from an outside conglomerate of investors would greatly benefit this project. The future of space flight is at risk due to the Kessler Syndrome, space remediation is necessary in order to secure that future. Our proposed system provides multiple solutions to problems faced in space remediation. For this reason we have delivered this preliminary proposal in the hopes of producing critical data which may help improve the state of space above earth and promote the safe and responsible use of space to the international community.