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Weeden B.,Secure World Foundation
Space Policy | Year: 2011

Much attention has been paid recently to the issue of removing human-generated space debris from Earth orbit, especially following conclusions reached by both NASA and ESA that mitigating debris is not sufficient, that debris-on-debris and debris-on-active-satellite collisions will continue to generate new debris even without additional launches, and that some sort of active debris removal (ADR) is needed. Several techniques for ADR are technically plausible enough to merit further research and eventually operational testing. However, all ADR technologies present significant legal and policy challenges which will need to be addressed for debris removal to become viable. This paper summarizes the most promising techniques for removing space debris in both LEO and GEO, including electrodynamic tethers and ground- and space-based lasers. It then discusses several of the legal and policy challenges posed, including: lack of separate legal definitions for functional operational spacecraft and non-functional space debris; lack of international consensus on which types of space debris objects should be removed; sovereignty issues related to who is legally authorized to remove pieces of space debris; the need for transparency and confidence-building measures to reduce misperceptions of ADR as anti-satellite weapons; and intellectual property rights and liability with regard to ADR operations. Significant work on these issues must take place in parallel to the technical research and development of ADR techniques, and debris removal needs to be done in an environment of international collaboration and cooperation. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Lopez L.D.,Secure World Foundation
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2014

A key component of efforts to address complex threats to space sustainability - such as congestion of key orbits, space debris, radio frequency interference, and potential for conflict in space - is to engage new space actors in the process. This paper will gauge the degree of awareness, interest, and involvement in space sustainability advancement of three emerging space nations in Latin America. Building on prior research that examined the development paths of space actors in three emerging space regions of the world and their impact on space sustainability, this paper will offer insights on the current space sustainability concerns and priorities of Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Through literature review, personal communication with experts, and by examining the involvement of these actors in international space forums, this paper identifies common themes about how these actors approach the concept of sustainability, their primary concerns, and involvement and perspectives on mechanisms to promote it. The findings and conclusions from this analysis will help inform ongoing efforts to engage other emerging space actors in the region in the advancement of space sustainability. Copyright © 2014 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved. Source

Antoniou N.,Secure World Foundation | Ciaramicoli M.,Canadian Space Agency
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2013

Social media present new vehicles for interactive communication and user-generated content using an array of Web- and mobile-based tools. As a result, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are widely used around the world for entertainment but there is growing interest in using them during and following natural or man-made disasters. Due to their ease of use and simplicity, social media platforms can provide efficient delivery of information that can give better situational awareness for emergency response. Unfortunately, this great amount of information can sometimes be useless or even dangerous, since its reliability is often unclear and any uncertainties can result in chaos. Research is therefore needed on the technological, regulatory, and reliability aspects of social media use in emergency situations. This paper will present an overview of the use of social media during recent disaster events in an attempt to better understand the associated benefits and inherent risks. Challenges encountered when using social media in disaster response activities are then presented. Finally, technological, policy, and reliability improvements that may be necessary to further incorporate social media into the disaster management cycle will be addressed. ©2013 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved. Source

The 1979 Moon Agreement was conceived as a way to help manage one of the expected outcomes of expanded activities on the Moon: exploitation of its natural resources. However, the fifth of the international space treaties elaborated in the early stages of the Space Age failed to receive widespread acceptance. Persisting polarization about key provisions in the Agreement hampers its success in the near future. This article examines the legacy of the Moon Agreement from a policy perspective by identifying key principles that are poised to resurface in the near future with the advent of new actors in space, especially the private sector. It argues that the development of norms of behavior together with national regulation and legislation represent the most promising way to engage established and emerging space actors in ensuring responsible behavior beyond Earth orbit. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Williamson R.A.,Secure World Foundation
Space Policy | Year: 2012

The growth of new space systems and the continued creation of orbital debris could in a few years make activities in Earth orbit unsustainable, so finding cost-effective ways to sustain space activities in Earth orbit is essential. Because outer space activities serve the needs of the military-intelligence, civil, and commercial communities, each with their own requirements, creating the necessary international agreements for reaching and maintaining a condition of sustainability will not be easy. This paper summarizes the primary issues for the international space community regarding our future ability to reap the benefit of space systems in Earth orbit. It explores several of the efforts to develop international agreements that would lead to or support the sustainability of space activities and examines the benefits and drawbacks of each approach. In particular, it reviews progress within the UN COPUOS, and examines the EU's proposal for an international Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities. It also notes the need for states to establish or expand their own space legal infrastructure to conform to the UN treaties and guidelines for space activities. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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