Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Brent T. Langhals, PhD.


Space debris remains an unsolved hazard for space operators and astronomers alike. Passive debris mitigation techniques have been enumerated and codified by the UNCOPUOS and IADC and several proposals for actively mitigating space debris have been presented. However, the space debris problem requires reframing. On the way to developing a viable CONOPS, a multi-disciplinary construct for building solution sets to tackle the space debris problem must be created. It must be shaped by building blocks of active and passive debris mitigation techniques, debris characterization and law. Central considerations must be taken. First, targeting of space debris for removal must be prioritized to unite effort and to make significant reductions in the space debris threat. Next, a leading agent must be identified and empowered to act as an executor for a space debris mitigation program, passive or active. Also needed is enactment of enforcement measures to ensure space faring nations comply with binding regulations. Lastly, active space debris mitigation programs must be urged along by the international community with contributions from all nations. Aside from monetary contributions, aid can be rendered via intellectual space and manpower. We must seek the right questions to effectively solve the space debris problem.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number