Ian Dargin is a former Air Force Officer with 22 years of service. He served the US Air Force Space Test Program Office at Space Division, Los Angeles Air Force Station. While working on the Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES) program - a joint DOD and NASA space science satellite mission, he developed an interest in the science of the solar wind and its interaction with the Earth's geomagnetic field, which led to the idea of a method to remove small space debris from near-earth orbit and received a US patent in December 2019.
Space debris occupies LEO and extends out to Geosynchronous Earth Orbit. The space junk is comprised of derelict satellites, rocket bodies, nuts, gloves, paint chips, metal fragments from explosions or collisions, and many others. Though space debris de-orbits slowly decays over time, studies have shown that it will not keep pace with the growing amount of space debris. Conventional removal techniques involve the use of a Satellite which contributes to the problem.
“Platform for Redirecting and Removing Inert Space Material” (PRRISM) offers a novel approach by operating outside of the debris orbits. The system utilizes an antenna, generating an electromagnetic (EM) wave to interact with a solar EM wave to streamline magnetic flux in the Polar Cusp and to facilitate the flow of solar plasma through the Polar Cusp, resulting in an increased density, velocity, and pressure at the exit of the Polar Cusp. The elevated plasma flow intercepts and removes small space debris from the LEO and GEO and Geosynchronous Transfer Orbits (GTO) transiting the LEO altitude regimes.
Ian has over 50 years of experience in R&D, including systems engineering, space science research, and project management working on large high-tech programs with leading aerospace companies, the DoD, and NASA. Ian holds a Masters degree in Administration from Central Michigan University; a Bachelors of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Parks College of Saint Louis University; and an Associate degree in Engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology. He has attended the National Test Pilot School for Flight Test and holds an FAA pilot license with an instrument rating. He is a Past Chairman (1999-2000) of the New England Council of the AIAA.