Optimum sizing of bare-tape tethers for de-orbiting satellites at end of mission

Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón and Sánchez-Torres, Antonio and Khan, Shaker Bayajid and Sánchez-Arriaga, Gonzalo and Charro, Mario (2015). Optimum sizing of bare-tape tethers for de-orbiting satellites at end of mission. "Advances in Space Research", v. 56 (n. 7); pp. 1485-1492. ISSN 0273-1177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asr.2015.06.030.

Description

Title: Optimum sizing of bare-tape tethers for de-orbiting satellites at end of mission
Author/s:
  • Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón
  • Sánchez-Torres, Antonio
  • Khan, Shaker Bayajid
  • Sánchez-Arriaga, Gonzalo
  • Charro, Mario
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Advances in Space Research
Date: 1 October 2015
ISSN: 0273-1177
Volume: 56
Subjects:
Faculty: E.T.S. de Ingeniería Aeronáutica y del Espacio (UPM)
Department: Física Aplicada a las Ingenierías Aeronáutica y Naval
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

De-orbiting satellites at end of mission would prevent generation of new space debris. A proposed de-orbit technology involves a bare conductive tape-tether, which uses neither propellant nor power supply while generating power for on-board use during de-orbiting. The present work shows how to select tape dimensions for a generic mission so as to satisfy requirements of very small tether-to-satellite mass ratio mt/MS and probability Nf of tether cut by small debris, while keeping de-orbit time tf short and product tf ×× tether length low to reduce maneuvers in avoiding collisions with large debris. Design is here discussed for particular missions (initial orbit of 720 km altitude and 63° and 92° inclinations, and 3 disparate MS values, 37.5, 375, and 3750 kg), proving it scalable. At mid-inclination and a mass-ratio of a few percent, de-orbit time takes about 2 weeks and Nf is a small fraction of 1%, with tape dimensions ranging from 1 to 6 cm, 10 to 54 μμm, and 2.8 to 8.6 km. Performance drop from middle to high inclination proved moderate: if allowing for twice as large mt/MS, increases are reduced to a factor of 4 in tf and a slight one in Nf, except for multi-ton satellites, somewhat more requiring because efficient orbital-motion-limited electron collection restricts tape-width values, resulting in tape length (slightly) increasing too.

Funding Projects

TypeCodeAcronymLeaderTitle
FP7262972BETSUnspecifiedPropellantless deorbiting of space debris by bare electrodynamic tethers
Government of Spain2009-013319BESUnspecifiedUnspecified
Universidad Politécnica de MadridRR0 1 2009UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified

More information

Item ID: 39246
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/39246/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:39246
DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2015.06.030
Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273117715004676
Deposited by: Biblioteca ETSI Aeronauticos
Deposited on: 09 Feb 2016 09:20
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2019 14:01
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