Bare wire anodes for electrodynamic tethers

Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón and Martínez-Sánchez, Manuel and Ahedo Galilea, Eduardo (1993). Bare wire anodes for electrodynamic tethers. "Journal of Propulsion and Power", v. 9 (n. 3); pp. 353-360. ISSN 0748-4658.


Title: Bare wire anodes for electrodynamic tethers
  • Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón
  • Martínez-Sánchez, Manuel
  • Ahedo Galilea, Eduardo
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Journal of Propulsion and Power
Date: 1993
ISSN: 0748-4658
Volume: 9
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

Full text

[img] PDF - Users in campus UPM only - Requires a PDF viewer, such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (713kB)


The collection of electrons from the ionosphere is the major problem facing high-power electrodynamic tethers. This article discusses a simple electron-collection concept which is free of most of the physical uncertainties associated with plasma contactors in the rarefied, magnetized environment of an orbiting tether. The idea is to leave exposed a fraction of the tether length near its anodic end, such that, when a positive bias develops locally with respect to the ambient plasma, and for a tether radius small compared with both thermal gyroradius and Debye length, electrons are collected in an orbital-motion-limited regime. It is shown that large currents can be drawn in this way with only moderate voltage drops. The concept is illustrated through a discussion of performance characteristics for generators and thrusters.

More information

Item ID: 26329
DC Identifier:
OAI Identifier:
DOI: 10.2514/3.23629
Official URL:
Deposited by: Biblioteca ETSI Aeronauticos
Deposited on: 22 May 2014 09:56
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2014 11:40
  • Logo InvestigaM (UPM)
  • Logo GEOUP4
  • Logo Open Access
  • Open Access
  • Logo Sherpa/Romeo
    Check whether the anglo-saxon journal in which you have published an article allows you to also publish it under open access.
  • Logo Dulcinea
    Check whether the spanish journal in which you have published an article allows you to also publish it under open access.
  • Logo de Recolecta
  • Logo del Observatorio I+D+i UPM
  • Logo de OpenCourseWare UPM