From: Talentar Orbital
Distribution: Talentar Orbital Space (all); Talentar Inbounds (all)
Cc: Lumenna-Súnáris SysCon
Priority: PRIORITY
Subject: NOTSPC S00110/7380 PR S00024/7380
Timestamp: 7380 Cálith 25 Waking 0

*** Notice to Spacers (Autodecoded) ***

This notice S00110/7380 partially replaces notice S00024/7380. This notice applies to all starships and motile satellites and is directed to the immediate attention of flight crew members and flight control automation.

Unacceptably high debris particle counts have been detected in the equatorial orbital zone at orbital level 100. Debris clearing operations (fluffship sweep) have been scheduled in this area from 7380 Sunarast 16 Waking+12 and will continue for 16 Kp.

Due to work in progress, all starships and motile satellites are required to avoid orbital levels 99 through 101 between 30° N and 30° S during this period. Contact Talentar Orbital for new orbital allocations. Crossing traffic may be permitted at discretion of Talentar Orbital. Caution advised.


Notable Replies

  1. What’s with the +/- 30 degree inclination exclusion? Is that the splash zone from debris impacts with fluffships?

  2. Any object at a 30-degree inclination orbit will pass from +30 to -30 degrees latitude during its orbit. Apparently the debris is confined to a small range of altitudes, but not to a single plane, or the longitude of the ascending node(s) would probably also be added to specify which planes are affected.

    All circular orbits at this altitude will cross the plane(s) of the debris regardless, but IANASpaceTrafficController. Elliptic orbits would require more information to determine their safety.

  3. There are a couple of factors here.

    A thousand-mile¹ equatorial is a very popular orbit. This accounts, on the one hand, for why it’s an area that’s prone to developing higher debris particle densities than others.

    On the other hand, and relevant to the plane, it’s a very popular orbit, not to mention one that tends to have traffic lanes running through it. While being generally fixed is a good thing, you can cram a lot more into that orbit if you’re willing to “braid” an assortment of slightly off-plane orbits through it such that multiple satellites can occupy a single slot so long as they aren’t all trying to do so at once.

    It’s not quite so convenient as reserving a pure equatorial slot and not having to deal with changes in your satellite’s N-S inclination, but on the other hand, it is also substantially cheaper.

    While these orbits aren’t technically equatorial orbits, they do all fit within the equatorial orbital zone, so termed. (Which isn’t actually 60° of arc across, either, but safety considerations call for providing plenty of room for motiles to get out of the way. That’s the same reason they clear orbital levels 99-101 even though they’re just running debris clearing ops on OL 100.) And thus spread the debris particle belt out a bit.

    1. orbital level, like flight level, is a space traffic control term that standardizes altitudes in a convenient way which also provides for vertical separation; to get a rough approximation without getting into units issues, multiply by ten miles for altitude between ground and geosync altitude.
  4. Bummed it didn’t read “requested and required” à la Admiralty orders.

  5. Well, if it was to be an enforced warning - ‘noncompliance will result in regrettably necessary coercive measures and potentially hyperentropic responses’ - I’d use your phrasing.

    But if it’s merely ‘you would be a dumbass to ignore this message, you need really good reasons to violate this request, call us if you think you have such reasons’… I think eldrae would avoid ‘requiring’. Society of Consent and all that, after all.

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