With the decline of massive GEO satellites and a big increase in smallsat and cubesat, especially those in constellations, I wonder what their impact is on space debris.
Those smaller satellites do have considerable less mass than the "big old" satellites that were the most common to be launched, so each satellite of their own contributes less to potential space debris (and the now so often discussed Kessler syndrom).
Nevertheless the overall amount of satellites (planned to be) launched into LEO is incredible if compared to the last decades.
So my question is how much of a danger/increase in danger are those constellations to an inflation to space debris and launch windows?
- Will launch windows be carefully adjusted because of the density of the constellations?
- All the constellations are for telecommunication (and future ones for OE) so they are supposed to be active as long as possible -> therefore no fast decaying orbit how you can do it with scientific satellites.
- Is the impact way smaller, than I think, because of the sheer (quite hard to imagine) "size" of LEO/MEO.
- Is modern tracking/planning preventive enough to avoid any collisions?
Planned constellations for reference:
- OneWeb : 650 (+1900) satellites @ 1200km
- StarLink : 4400 (+7500) satellites @ 550km (340km)
- Boeing : 1400-3000 satellites @ 1200km
- LeoSat : 100 satellites @ 1400km
- Telesat : 110-510 satellites @ 1200km
For clarification: I would like to have a quantitative estimation how much all those planned constellations impact the chance of collisions and launch windows. This can be done for an example (like the ISS) or done generally with (justified) self-made assumption.