in Space / Features

ISO standards for safer, cleaner space

Posted 10 October 2013 · Add Comment

Sandrine Trenchard at the ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) looks at the role of standards such as ISO 24113 in helping to deal with the vast - and increasing - amount of dangerous debris in space.



Satellites at the end of their life, rocket stages no longer being used, nuts, bolts - space is full of debris turning around the Earth. In total, some 34,000 objects larger than 10 cm have been observed at least once by radar or telescopes.

Objects in orbit can be dangerous as they can cause accidents both in space and back on earth, so experts are increasingly calling for measures to help limit debris in order to safeguard the future of space activities.

Among these measures are a number of ISO standards, for example, ISO 24113 which focuses on the requirements for space debris mitigation.

Above: Since the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957, more than 4,900 launches have placed some 6,600 satellites into orbit; 3600 of these still remain in space and about 1,000 of them are still operational today.
© CNES/PHOTON/GIRARD Sébastien, 2008


Preventing space debris with ISO standards

ISO 24113 aims to ensure that spacecraft and launch vehicle orbital stages (the engine sections used to propel the spacecraft that are discarded after use) are designed, operated and disposed of in a way that prevents them from generating debris throughout their orbital lifetime.

The standard is one of a family that helps avoid the release of objects during normal operation, helps prevent accidental break-ups and helps ensure that launch vehicle orbital stages leave the low and geostationary earth orbits where they pose most risk.

Preventing collisions
Other standards focus on preventing damage caused by collision such as ISO 11227:2012 which contains a test method to characterise what happens when a material used on the external surface of a spacecraft is hit by orbital debris.

A number of other standards are under development such as ISO 16158, which focuses on avoiding collisions using the Conjunction Data Message, and ISO 16126 that concentrates on the survivability assessment against impacts from small-size debris and meteoroids.

Other topics also in development include the standardisation of space debris and natural environment models (ISO 14200) and the design and operation manual for spacecraft operated in the debris environment (ISO 18146).



First published by ISO (09.10.13).

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

CAA launching new airspace change process

In 2015 the CAA started reviewing its airspace change process and after nearly three years of detailed work and two public consultations, it is now launching its new process which will take effect from 2nd January 2018.

Colas UK to help build Ugandan airport with UKEF support

Transport infrastructure firm Colas UK has secured a contract to support construction of the new Ugandan Hoima International Airport in Kabaale, following the largest ever UK Export Finance (UKEF) loan to an African government.

Qazaq Air signs for two Q400s

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has announced that Qazaq Air JSC of Kazakhstan has signed a firm purchase agreement for two new Q400 turboprops.

Zodiac Seats UK partners wth Tata Technologies

Tata Technologies today announced that it had entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Zodiac Seats UK to support the company's engineering requirements.

Exeter Airport tops HappyOrNot's Airport Report, Newcastle fifth, Southend sixth and Cardiff seventh

HappyOrNot's inaugural Airport Report has ranked Exeter Airport as the world's happiest airport, Newcastle came fifth, London Southend Airport sixth and Cardiff Airport seventh, following feedback from 160 airports across 36

Albacom secures contracts in India

Dundee-based Albacom, which specialises in providing electrical components for the defence and aviation industry, has secured two six-figure contracts with Indian defence companies.

SMI NCWSK2011171217
See us at
SMI FAVSABT2411120418FIL18 BT111017220718Aviation Africa BT18418SMI NCWBT3110020218S&P BT281117080318