Propellantless de orbiting of space debris by bare electrodynamic tethers

Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón and Kahn, Saker B. and Bombardelli, Claudio and Lorenzini, Enrico C. and Colombatti, Giacomo and Zanutto, Denis and Roussel, Jean-François and Sarrailh, Pierre and Williams, John D. and Metz, Garret E. and Thomas, James K. and Carrasco, José A. and García de Quirós, Francisco and Kroemer, Olaf and Rosta, Roland and Zoest, Tim van and Lasa, Joseba and Marcos, Jesús (2011). Propellantless de orbiting of space debris by bare electrodynamic tethers. In: "62nd International Astronautical Congress", 3-7 oct 2010, Cape Twon, Sudafrica.


Title: Propellantless de orbiting of space debris by bare electrodynamic tethers
  • Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón
  • Kahn, Saker B.
  • Bombardelli, Claudio
  • Lorenzini, Enrico C.
  • Colombatti, Giacomo
  • Zanutto, Denis
  • Roussel, Jean-François
  • Sarrailh, Pierre
  • Williams, John D.
  • Metz, Garret E.
  • Thomas, James K.
  • Carrasco, José A.
  • García de Quirós, Francisco
  • Kroemer, Olaf
  • Rosta, Roland
  • Zoest, Tim van
  • Lasa, Joseba
  • Marcos, Jesús
Item Type: Presentation at Congress or Conference (Article)
Event Title: 62nd International Astronautical Congress
Event Dates: 3-7 oct 2010
Event Location: Cape Twon, Sudafrica
Title of Book: 62nd International Astronautical Congress
Date: 2011
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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A 3-year Project started on November 1 2010, financed by the European Commision within the FP-7 Space Program, and aimed at developing an efficient de-orbit system that could be carried on board by future spacecraft launched into LEO, will be presented. The operational system will deploy a thin uninsulated tape-tether to collect electrons as a giant Langmuir probe, using no propellant/no power supply, and generating power on board. This project will involve free-fall tests, and laboratory hypervelocity-impact and tether-current tests, and design/Manufacturing of subsystems: interface elements, electric control and driving module, electron-ejecting plasma contactor, tether-deployment mechanism/end-mass, and tape samples. Preliminary results to be presented involve: i) devising criteria for sizing the three disparate tape dimensions, affecting mass, resistance, current-collection, magnetic self-field, and survivability against debris itself; ii) assessing the dynamical relevance of tether parameters in implementing control laws to limit oscillations in /off the orbital plane, where passive stability may be marginal; iii) deriving a law for bare-tape current from numerical simulations and chamber tests, taking into account ambient magnetic field, ion ram motion, and adiabatic electron trapping; iv) determining requirements on a year-dormant hollow cathode under long times/broad emission-range operation, and trading-off against use of electron thermal emission; v) determining requirements on magnetic components and power semiconductors for a control module that faces high voltage/power operation under mass/volume limitations; vi) assessing strategies to passively deploy a wide conductive tape that needs no retrieval, while avoiding jamming and ending at minimum libration; vii) evaluating the tape structure as regards conductive and dielectric materials, both lengthwise and in its cross-section, in particular to prevent arcing in triple-point junctions.

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Item ID: 26064
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Deposited by: Biblioteca ETSI Aeronauticos
Deposited on: 18 May 2014 08:33
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2014 13:58
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