The History of On-Orbit Satellite
Fragmentations provides some historical information about
early study of satellite fragmentation and the effects
on the large Earth satellite population.
Orbital Debris Measurements
of near-Earth orbital debris are accomplished by conducting ground-based and space-based observations of the orbital debris environment. Data is acquired using
radars and optical telescopes,
space-based telescopes, and analysis of spacecraft
surfaces returned from space. Some
important data sources have been the U.S. Space Surveillance Network, the Haystack X-Band Radar, and returned surfaces from the Solar Max, the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF), the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the Space Shuttle spacecraft. The data provide validation for the environment models and identify the presence of new
Exposure Facility (LDEF) was left in low Earth
orbit (LEO) for 5.7 years before being retrieved
by space shuttle Columbia in January, 1990.
X-Band Radar - MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington,