Text Size
Advanced Radar Tool Provides Highly Detailed Ballistic and Radar Analysis of Ascent Debris
August 16, 2011

    › Benefits
    › Applications
    › Licensing and Partnering Opportunity
    › Contact Information

Innovators at NASA's Johnson Space Center have developed a sophisticated radar analysis tool to analyze ascent debris from space shuttle launches. The Debris Examination Using Ballistic and Radar Integrated Software (DEBRIS) tool was developed to support NASA's Debris Radar (NDR) system and provides rapid and accurate C-band and X-band radar analysis to assess threats to ongoing missions from debris. Jointly developed by JSC and the United States Air Force (USAF), the system is comprised of two applications: the primary DEBRIS tool, which observes the initial 150 seconds of flight, and the Automated Radar Debris Examination Tool (ARDENT) which observes the 150-480 second time segment of the flight. The tool provides greatly improved analysis capacity over earlier manual processes, allowing up to four times as much data to be analyzed by one-quarter of the personnel. This software may be released for U.S. Government purposes only.


  • Innovative: Extends radar analysis capability dramatically
  • Efficient: Reduces analysis time substantially, while increasing accuracy
  • Automated: Compiles radar cross sections automatically, sorting outputs by time, brightness, and release frequency
  • Prioritized: Ranks observed contacts by threats and annotates dissimilar events
  • Flexible: Exports results to spreadsheets for histogram development
  • Comprehensive: Tracks and displays all annotations related to an event


  • Organizations planning to launch rockets where potential debris from liftoff may be a safety or reliability concern

Licensing and Partnering Opportunity

This technology is being made available through JSC's Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office, which seeks to transfer technology into and out of NASA to benefit the space program and U.S. industry. NASA invites companies to consider licensing this technology for commercial applications.

Contact Information

If you would like more information about this technology or about NASA's technology transfer program, please contact:

Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office
NASA's Johnson Space Center
Phone: 281-483-3809
E-mail: jsc-techtran@mail.nasa.gov

Image Token: 
Image Token: 
Page Last Updated: January 16th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator