ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Numerical Assessment of the Tumbling Motion of Non-Cooperative Debris
As some kind of spin-off we have calculated the natural time evolution of the orbital and attitude motion of a spacecraft in LEO with the re-entry software tool SCARAB. The spacecraft geometry and its initial attitude was assumed and could be directly propagated. Switching off the dedicated re-entry destruction analysis capabilities the attitude motion could be simulated for years ahead within days of computing time. The simulation included aerodynamic and solar-radiation pressure induced torques. In parallel a separate much simpler stand-alone tool was developed for the same application, mainly for cross-checking. This tool could establish the possibility to study additional effects like damping which are not that easily introduced into the SCARAB code.