Contact dynamic models of space debris capturing using a net

Minghe Shan, Jian Guo*, Eberhard Gill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Contact dynamic models for active debris capturing using a net are presented and analyzed using numerical simulations. The contact dynamics are based on two methods: the penalty-based method and the impulse-based method. Both methods apply contact detection algorithms based on the Axis-Aligned Bounding Box. The impulse-based method is, for the first time, being used in a net capturing scenario. Strengths and weaknesses of both models are compared and discussed. Moreover, the results from numerical simulations of target capturing are presented and analyzed to evaluate the effectiveness of the contact dynamic models. It is found that the average difference of bullet trajectories obtained by two models can be restricted within 6% when it compares with the dimension of the net.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-205
Number of pages8
JournalActa Astronautica
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Contact dynamics
  • Impulse-based method
  • Numerical simulation
  • Penalty-based method
  • Space debris


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