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Work progresses on space sustainability assessment

ARLINGTON, Va- A group established in the previous year to grow a ranking measure how fit satellites obey with the guidelines of space sustainability anticipates having the first version of its ranking system complete by late in the current year or early in the next year. 

The World Economic Forum (WEF) reported in May 2019 that it chose a consortium that comprised of the European Space Agency, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Texas at Austin and Bryce Space and Technology to make a Space Sustainability Ranking system that would enable the scoring of satellites based on how good they certify the long-term space sustainability. 

Danielle Wood, who is a professor at the MIT Media Laboratory, stated during a presentation held on January 15 about the project at the Second International Academy of Astronautics Conference on the Space Situational Awareness. He said that the ranking envisions becoming a positive inducement so that the operators of satellites have a wish to advance their answerable behavior, not through communal and peer pressure.

Since the deceleration of the ranking system, Wood and the associates of the team have been operating on the two parameters that would go into the ranking and how they weighted, she added that the potential parameters comprise of a mixture of quantitative and qualitative actions, ranging from, every satellites policy to the economic feasibility of the operator of the satellite, a worry if the satellite might outlast the syndicate that hurled it to the space. 

The team is currently narrowing down the limits it strategizes to include. She said that the ranking would probably include the physical parameters of the satellites and the concept of their operation for evading potential crashes and disposing of the satellite after ending its life, as well as how visible the satellite is and its operators’ obedience with the international standards and procedures. 

Wood stated that the European associates of the team have been operating on methods to model the environment of space and calculate a mission index for a satellite that approximates the likelihood of a collision for the satellite provided the debris environment in the orbit and its impacts. That would undoubtedly be among the factors in the final ranking. 

She said that the final ranking would be one number between zero and one. A single challenge affecting the crew is how to weigh the numerous factors with sensitivity examines planned to understand the way changes in every element impact the total score.