DRAMA (Debris Risk Assessment and Mitigation Analysis)


Project Description:

DRAMA is an integrated tool suite that can be used to assess the risk to a mission and evaluate the measures that can be taken to mitigate the risks. The acronym stands for Debris Risk Assessment and Mitigation Analysis. DRAMA has been developed for the ESA/ESOC. The suite consists of five tools, which are integrated into a graphical user interface. The tools are


  • ARES: Assessment of Risk Event Statistics (developed by DEIMOS Space S.L.U),
  • MIDAS: MASTER(-based) Impact Flux and Damage Assessment (developed by Space Systems),
  • OSCAR: Orbital Spacecraft Active Removal (developed by Space Systems),
  • CROC: Cross Section of Complex Bodies (developed by DEIMOS Space S.L.U),
  • SARA: Bodies (Re-Entry) Survival and Risk Analysis (maintained by ESOC/ESA).




By requesting a free access to Space Debris User Portal, it is possible to obtain a digital version of the software.

The tools ARES and MIDAS are interfaced with the MASTER-2009 software, relying on the provided space debris environment. ARES is able to estimate how many collision avoidance manoeuvres of a satellite have to be considered in its mission lifetime. It includes the orbit uncertainties of the target mission as well of the uncertainties in the underlying object catalogue.   

The tool MIDAS provides the means to derive the damage statistics for satellite surfaces based on the collision flux available through the MASTER-2009 interface. Multiple surfaces can be defined, with different attitudes (Earth-oriented, Sun-fixed or inertial fixed), surface areas, shielding methods and properties (thickness and density). Based on Ballistic Limit Equations (BLEs) the probability and number of penetrations of a particle with a given diameter or mass can be determined.


The third tool OSCAR allows the user to consider different kinds of disposal manoeuvres for the end-of-life strategy of a mission. Not only Hohmann manoeuvres using conventional chemical propulsion systems can be selected but also electric systems, tethers and augmentation devices. OSCAR is able to use different methods to forecast the solar- and geomagnetic activity for long periods of time of up to 200 years.


SARA is then able to estimate the break-up of the satellite and its resulting fragments. As a result an on-ground risk estimation is provided for the objects surviving the re-entry. An object-oriented approach allows the user to define subsystems and components that are contained in a parent satellite body. A material database can be used and expanded by the user to assign each component or subsystem not only shape and dimensions but also a material definition.


For the convenience of the user a fifth tool has been developed by DEIMOS Space S.L.U to determine the cross sectional area of complex bodies (CROC). In the graphical user interface a 3D model of the object can be created. Its cross sectional area can then be estimated from different aspect angles and also assuming tumbling motions.

Project Terms:

As contract No. 4000115057/15/D/SR (ESA/ESOC), 29.09.2015 and on going Upgrade of DRAMA’s Spacecraft Entry Survival Analysis Codes

As contract No. 4000104977/11/D/SR (ESA/ESOC), 01.12.2012 – 28.02.2013 Upgrade of ESA’s Space Debris Mitigation Analysis Tool Suite


The project is currently being carried with the following partners

  • HTG (Hyperschall Technologie Göttingen)
  • Deimos Space
  • Etamax


Kanzler, R., Lips, T., Fritsche, B., Bonetti, D., Fuentes, I. P., Letterio, F., de Miguel, G. V., Arnao, G. B., Palomo, P., Parigini, C., Bunte, K.-D., Miller, A., Garms, C., Kebschull, C., Lemmens, S., UPGRADE OF DRAMA'S SPACECRAFT ENTRY SURVIVAL ANALYSIS CODES, in: Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on Space Debris, Darmstadt, Germany, 2017

Braun, V., Sanchez-Ortiz, N., Gelhaus, J., Kebschull, C., Flegel, S., Möckel, M., Wiedemann, C., Krag, H., Vörsmann, P., Upgrade of the ESA DRAMA OSCAR tool: Analysis of disposal strategies considering current standard for future solar and geomagnetic activity, 6th European Conference on Space Debris, Darmstadt, Germany, 2013

Braun, V., Gelhaus, J., Kebschull, C., Sanchez-Ortiz, N., Oliveira, J., Dominguez, R., Wiedemann, C., Krag, H., Vörsmann, P., DRAMA 2.0 - ESA's space debris risk assessment and mitigation analysis tool suite, 64th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), paper IAC-13,A6.4,4x18862, Beijing, China, 2013

Braun, V., Lüpken, A., Flegel, S., Gelhaus, J., Möckel, M., Kebschull, C., Wiedemann, C., Vörsmann, P., Active debris removal of multiple priority targets, Adv. in Space Research 51, pp. 1638-1648, 2013

Kebschull, C., Flegel, S., Gelhaus, J., Möckel, M., Braun, V., Radtke, J., Wiedemann C., Vörsmann, P., Sánchez-Ortíz, N., Krag, H., The Software Architecture of the Upgraded ESA DRAMA Software Suite, in: Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Space Debris, Darmstadt, Germany, 2013

Contact Person:
Dipl.-Ing. Christopher Kebschull
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