GNC Aspects for Active Debris Removal
The access to space in the medium term future is being compromised by the exponentially growth of space debris, including launchers, stages, obsolete space objects and different objects that have resulted from break-ups in space. Orbits like LEO polar Sun-synchronous (very used for Earth Observation purposes) and GEO (very used for commercial elecommunication purposes) orbits are specially contested and the risk of a collision between a debris object and an operative mission is starting to be non-negligible. Technologies for debris removal using active means are nowadays being seri-ously studied. Among the needed technologies, the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) related technologies are especially critical because of the complex-ity in the operations to be performed and the possibility to collide with the debris and generate a much higher amount of debris objects than those that are intended to be removed. This paper includes a discussion about the main critical GNC related aspects that are involved in the Active Debris Removal (ADR) scenarios.