Ablation is the process of generating forces on objects by means of surface interactions with energy projected from a distant point. Laser beams, directed from earth to intersect with objects in space, generate significant forces if the interaction is carefully controlled.
Until now, the only way to avoid space debris was to manoeuvre away from it to prevent a collision, consuming fuel and reducing mission life. EOS is now fine-tuning technology that will allow pieces of space debris and other objects in space to be physically manoeuvred into a different orbit using long range high power plasma beam (ablation).
By using Adaptive Optics (AO) techniques, EOSSS is developing new tools for enhanced capability for low earth orbit (LEO) space management using coupled laser energy to space debris objects. Laser guide stars, wavefront sensors and wavefront inversion tools are in development now to improve ground based imaging and to couple laser energy onto debris for orbital management of lighter debris approaching valuable assets.