Magnetic self-field effects on current collection by an ionospheric bare tether

Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón and Estes, Robert D. (2002). Magnetic self-field effects on current collection by an ionospheric bare tether. "Journal of geophysical research", v. 107 (n. A-11); pp. 1-7. ISSN 0148-0227. https://doi.org/10.1029/2002JA009344.

Description

Title: Magnetic self-field effects on current collection by an ionospheric bare tether
Author/s:
  • Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón
  • Estes, Robert D.
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Journal of geophysical research
Date: 2002
Volume: 107
Subjects:
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Aeronáuticos (UPM)
Department: Física Aplicada a la Ingeniería Aeronáutica [hasta 2014]
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

It was recently suggested that the magnetic field created by the current of a bare tether strongly reduces its own electron-collection capability when a magnetic separatrix disconnecting ambient magnetized plasma from tether extends beyond its electric sheath. It is here shown that current reduction by the self-field depends on the ratio meterizing bias and current profiles along the tether (Lt tether length, characteristic length gauging ohmic effects) and on a new dimensionless number Ks involving ambient and tether parameters. Current reduction is weaker the lower Ks and L*/ Lt, which depend critically on the type of cross section: Ks varies as R5/3, h2/3R, and h2/3 1/4 width for wires, round tethers conductive only in a thin layer, and thin tapes, respectively; L* varies as R2/3 for wires and as h2/3 for tapes and round tethers conductive in a layer (R radius, h thickness). Self-field effects are fully negligible for the last two types of cross sections whatever the mode of operation. In practical efficient tether systems having L*/Lt low, maximum current reduction in case of wires is again negligible for power generation; for deorbiting, reduction is <1% for a 10 km tether and 15% for a 20 km tether. In the reboost mode there are no effects for Ks below some threshold; moderate effects may occur in practical but heavy reboost-wire systems that need no dedicated solar power.

More information

Item ID: 22192
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/22192/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:22192
DOI: 10.1029/2002JA009344
Deposited by: Biblioteca ETSI Aeronauticos
Deposited on: 24 Jan 2014 09:18
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2016 11:22
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