EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY
EUROPEAN SPACE OPERATIONS CENTRE
GROUND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT
Mission Analysis Office
CLASSIFICATION OF GEOSYNCHRONOUS OBJECTS
This is a status report on geosynchronous objects as of the end of 2004. Based on orbital data in ESA's DISCOS database the situation near the geostationary ring (here defined as orbits with mean motion between 0.9 and 1.1 revolutions per day, eccentricity smaller than 0.1 and inclination below 20 deg) is analysed. From 869 objects for which Two-Line-Elements (TLE) are available, 304 are controlled inside their longitude slots, 416 are drifting above, below or through GEO, 143 are in a libration orbit and 6 whose status could not be determined (status of Dec. 2004). Furthermore, there are 42 controlled satellites and 213 uncontrolled objects without TLEs (of which 65 have not been catalogued and 60 not even identified). Thus the total number of known objects in the geostationary region is 1124, out of which 346 are controlled, 712 are uncontrolled, 6 could not be classified and 60 are not identified.
During 2004 thirteen spacecraft reached end-of-life. Five of them were reorbited following the IADC recommendations. Five were reorbited with an insufficient increase in altitude. Three spacecraft were abandoned without a proper end-of-life disposal manouevre.
If you detect any error or if you have any comment or question please contact
Dr R. Jehn
European Space Operations Center
64293 Darmstadt, Germany