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Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
  About ISRO Space Debris Activities

The Indian Space Research Organisation is responsible for carrying out India's space programme, which is driven by applications such as communications, broadcasting, natural resources management using remote sensing, meteorology, disaster warning, search and rescue, etc. ISRO operates a number of satellites in both the geo-stationary and low-earth orbits including sun-synchronous orbits. India also has an operational satellite launch vehicle (PSLV), which is designed for launches into polar sun synchronous orbits, and is currently developing the GSLV for launches into GTO.

In our concern to maintain the outer space safe for spacecraft operations, efforts have been put to understand the space environment caused by man-made debris and its evolution. Preliminary debris mitigation guidelines have been drafted based on the studies made so far.

The studies at ISRO have been mainly on the mathematical modelling of the debris population in LEO. Investigations based on the concept of equivalent break up have provided very significant results. Various models for long- term predictions, close approach simulations, re-entry predictions, on-orbit fragmentation etc have been developed.

ISRO has consciously incorporated several measures to reduce the debris hazard in space. Reduction of the number of mission related parts released during spacecraft injection, and disposal of lower stages of launch vehicle in safe zones have been incorporated in the launch vehicle and spacecraft designs. Studies on passivation of the spent stages and spacecraft have been taken up and are planned to be implemented in the future programmes. The re-orbiting of GEO spacecraft will also be taken up.

Currently, the activities related to space debris are being pursued at various work centres of ISRO. ISRO also has plans for using the expertise available in various academic institutions and other research organisations to build up a firm base covering all aspects of the space debris issue, from the development of observation capabilities, through the modelling of the space environment and the characterisation of the on-orbit fragmentation, hypervelocity impact testing, shielding, and long duration exposure of materials in space.