The NOAA Application for Earth Remote Sensing asks

"If the satellite disposition involves an atmospheric re-entry the applicant must provide an estimate of the total debris casualty area of the system’s components and structure likely to survive re-entry."

I assume this has a lot to do with the materials. Is there a database that I can turn to to find out which materials will and won't burn up? I've heard Titanium does not burn up well, but I'm not sure about others.

If there is not a database, how do I calculate based on material properties and structure geometry?

I thought maybe calculation of debris casualty area could be a separate question.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ DAS might be useful here. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 22:46

1 Answer 1


NASA provides open source software for just this purpose. It's called DAS (Debris Assessment Software) and you can find it here: http://orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/mitigate/das.html

There are a lot of options and knobs, but you could start off by opening the program, clicking "Requirements Assessment", clicking "Casualty Risk from Reentry Debris", and entering in the specific materials that you're concerned about. There's a fairly large database built in already.


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