P2-ROTECT is the first FP7 project in Space area, that TÜBİTAK UZAY is involved in. It aims to assess the risk caused both by trackable and untrackable Space debris and to identify the most efficient ways of reducing the effect of Space debris in different orbits. The project started in March 2011 and will be finished in December 2013.
Methods used for dealing with Space debris can be summarized as follows: “improvement of collision predictions”, “better protection of Spacecraft”, “better debris removal”. A vulnerability index has been defined for evaluating how efficient proposed solutions against trackable and untrackable debris are; efficiency and cost of possible solutions to protect Space systems and infrastructures are analyzed together for selecting the most suitable solution.
Space debris in different orbits has different densities and characteristics. Three Space programs have been investigated within the project to be able to analyse the effects of Space debris in each orbit: Sentinel-I in LEO, GALILEO Constellation in MEOand MTG weather satellite in GEO.
Possible solutions against Space debris are analyzed and new methods are proposed in the Project. These methods are in Spacecraft level (better protection of Spacecraft against collisions, redundancy and better design), in mission level (fractionated mission design, different missions sharing satellites for specific functions, etc.) and in ground-control level (better prediction of collision risk at mission planning stage, planning maneouvres, etc.)
TÜBİTAK UZAY has contributed to the Project in improving ground operations, designing fractionated satellite architectures, designing a sensor for debris observations in space and self-avoidance of satellites against debris.