First published Fall 2015, Crosslink® magazine.
ADEPT differs from other debris environment projection models in several important ways. For example, it uses an Aerospace-developed tool, IMPACT, to model breakups from collisions and explosions. Other tools typically use variants of the NASA Standard Breakup Model.
ADEPT uses a Monte Carlo–based orbit trace crossing method to generate future random collisions. Other models typically use spatial density methods with Poisson statistical models. One advantage of the orbit trace crossing method is that it easily retains the correlation between the frequency of collision and the parameters that influence the fragmentation of the objects, including relative impact velocity, direction, and object masses.
ADEPT uses discrete weighted down-sampled populations to represent the full population. Other models typically use spatial density to represent the full population, which is effectively a smoothed representation. The use of weighted down-sampled populations makes it easy to retain any correlations between orbital elements of different objects.
ADEPT uses an independently developed database of objects that includes size, mass, ballistic area, and weighting factors. Having control of this database permits the execution of sensitivity studies.
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