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Problem of Space Debris

     Space Debris 

In order to bring more conveniences to people of the Earth, demand for 

microsatellites has been greatly increasing in recent years.  Yet after their 

operation are accomplished, these satellites are left on orbit and become

“space  debris” that often draw serious calamities around the Earth.  Thus,

resolving this space-debris problem is an urgent issue to protect future life

of all people.



What’s “DOM” ?


 “DOM” the De-Orbit Mechanism, was developed as a device that departs

the satellite from orbit after the operation. 







DOM functions by the following process:

1.  DOM is loaded to the satellite prior to the launch of the satellite.

After the operation of the satellite is  accomplished, DOM deploys a

thin-film of which the size of area is nearly 10 times greater than the

size of main satellite.


Due to atmospheric drag that’s created by the film, altitude of the satellite



The satellite will be annihilated by the heat generated when it re-enters the

Earth’s atmosphere.




-   Simple structure that deploys a thin film to increase air resistance.
- Variation of films that fit from 1U size up to 50kg class of satellites.

DOM can be mounted on a satellite in the way that its main structure

can be contained inside the satellite structure.


DOM realizes the film deployment just by providing electrical power supply

for a short period. DOM doesn’t utilize complex electrical devices such as motors.




Scope of Coverage

   Score of Coverage 
           !  The figures shown above roughly indicate the class and initial altitude range each size of DOM targets.

Actual orbit lifetime of satellite depends on variety of internal/external factors, such as its mass, 

cross-sectional area, solar activity, and so on. It is always necessary to perform detailed calculation

to find the most appropriate size of DOM.



Performance of DOM1500  (Result of lifetime calculation)

    Performance of DOM1500



Records and Results of DOM activities


  DOM500 for CubeSat “RAIKO” (H-IIB, Launched in 2012)               DOM
  DOM1500 for RISING-2 (H-IIA, Launched in 2014)
  DOM2500 for Flying Laptop (Soyuz, Launched in 2017)
  DOM2500 for RISESAT (Epsilon, Launched in 2019)
  FREEDOM Demonstration CubeSat (shown right)





FREEDOM, a 1U CubeSat was developed by the joint venture of Nakashimada Engineering Works and Tohoku

University for an important mission to demonstrate the actual effect of DOM in space by de-orbiting itself.


FREEDOM was released into Low Earth Orbit from “Kibo”, Japan Experimental Module of International Space

Station, on January 16, 2017.


According to the orbit information from a public organization, FREEDOM fell under the altitude of 250 km on

February 6,  and is considered to have re-entered the atmosphere of the Earth approximately 1 day after.

  This result proved that DOM would function exactly as it was expected in space.




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