Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón and Charro, Mario and Chen, Xin and Lorenzini, Enrico C. and Colombatti, Giacomo and Zanutto, Denis and Rousee, Jean-Françoise and Sarrailh, Pierre and Williams, John D. and Xie, Khan and Metz, Garret E. and Carrasco, Jose A. and García de Quirós, Francisco and Kroemer, Olaf and Rosta, Roland and Zoest, Tim van and Lasa, Joseba and Marcos, Jesús
An universal system to de-orbit satellites at end of life.
"The Journal of Space Technology and Science", v. 26
A 3-year Project financed by the European Commission is aimed at developing a universal system to de-orbit satellites at their end of life, as a fundamental contribution to limit the increase of debris in the Space environment. The operational system involves a conductive tapetether left bare to establish anodic contact with the ambient plasma as a giant Langmuir probe. The Project will size the three disparate dimensions of a tape for a selected de-orbit mission and determine scaling laws to allow system design for a general mission. Starting at the second year, mission selection is carried out while developing numerical codes to implement control laws on tether dynamics in/off the orbital plane; performing numerical simulations and plasma chamber measurements on tether-plasma interaction; and completing design of subsystems: electronejecting plasma contactor, power module, interface elements, deployment mechanism, and tether-tape/end-mass. This will be followed by subsystems manufacturing and by currentcollection, free-fall, and hypervelocity impact tests.