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A new approach to applying interplanetary meteoroid flux models to spacecraft in gravitational fields.

Lockheed Martin Space Operations, Houston, TX 77058, USA

Neil Divine in his "Five Populations of Interplanetary Meteoroids" [1] introduced a method of defining the interplanetary meteoroid environment in terms of orbit families. For this work, a new method is introduced to apply orbit populations to compute meteoroid fluxes on spacecraft in interplanetary space and within the gravitational field of a planet or moon. The flux on the target is defined per unit solid angle per unit speed. This differential flux can be related to that outside the gravitational field by use of Liouville's theorem. Integration is performed over bins in solid angle (defining the direction of the meteoroids) and in meteoroid speed. This formulation computes the directional gravitational lensing while avoiding the numerical problems in Divine's method. It is also relatively easy to account for the shadowing of the planet body. This method is even applicable to complex multi-body systems.

1. introduction

Much of the use of models to describe the meteoroid environment has been driven by the need to understand the collision risk to spacecraft, especially manned missions. Kessler [2] used the following one-dimensional formula to show the enhancement of the velocity flux within a gravitational field:

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