Survival probability of round and tape tethers against debris impact

Khan, Shaker Bayajid and Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón (2013). Survival probability of round and tape tethers against debris impact. "Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets", v. 50 (n. 3); pp. 603-608. ISSN 0022-4650. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.A32383.

Description

Title: Survival probability of round and tape tethers against debris impact
Author/s:
  • Khan, Shaker Bayajid
  • Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Date: 2013
Volume: 50
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

The current space environment, consisting of manmade debris and micrometeoroids, poses a risk to safe operations in space, and the situation is continuously deteriorating due to in-orbit debris collisions and to new satellite launches. Bare electrodynamic tethers can provide an efficient mechanism for rapid deorbiting of satellites from low Earth orbit at end of life. Because of its particular geometry (length very much larger than cross-sectional dimensions), a tether may have a relatively high risk of being severed by the single impact of small debris. The rates of fatal impact of orbital debris on round and tape tethers of equal length and mass, evaluated with an analytical approximation to debris flux modeled by NASA’s ORDEM2000, shows much higher survival probability for tapes. A comparative numerical analysis using debris flux model ORDEM2000 and ESA’s MASTER2005 validates the analytical result and shows that, for a given time in orbit, a tape has a probability of survival of about one and a half orders of magnitude higher than a round tether of equal mass and length. Because deorbiting from a given altitude is much faster for the tape due to its larger perimeter, its probability of survival in a practical sense is quite high.

More information

Item ID: 26827
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/26827/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:26827
DOI: 10.2514/1.A32383
Official URL: http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/1.A32383
Deposited by: Biblioteca ETSI Aeronauticos
Deposited on: 29 May 2014 13:45
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2014 11:43
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