Electrodynamic tether applications and constraints

Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón and Lorenzini, Enrico C. and Martínez-Sánchez, M. (2010). Electrodynamic tether applications and constraints. "Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets", v. 47 (n. 3); pp. 442-456. ISSN 0022-4650. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.45352.


Title: Electrodynamic tether applications and constraints
  • Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón
  • Lorenzini, Enrico C.
  • Martínez-Sánchez, M.
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Date: May 2010
ISSN: 0022-4650
Volume: 47
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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Propulsion and power generation by bare electrodynamic tethers are revisited in a unified way and issues and constraints are addressed. In comparing electrodynamic tethers, which do not use propellant, with other propellantconsuming systems, mission duration is a discriminator that defines crossover points for systems with equal initial masses. Bare tethers operating in low Earth orbit can be more competitive than optimum ion thrusters in missions exceeding two-three days for orbital deboost and three weeks for boosting operations. If the tether produces useful onboard power during deboost, the crossover point reaches to about 10 days. Power generation by means of a bare electrodynamic tether in combination with chemical propulsion to maintain orbital altitude of the system is more efficient than use of the same chemicals (liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen) in a fuel cell to produce power for missions longer than one week. Issues associated with tether temperature, bowing, deployment, and arcing are also discussed. Heating/cooling rates reach about 4 K/s for a 0.05-mm-thick tape and a fraction of Kelvin/second for the ProSEDS (0.6-mm-radius) wire; under dominant ohmic effects, temperatures areover200K (night) and 380 K (day) for the tape and 320 and 415 K for that wire. Tether applications other than propulsion and power are briefly discussed.

More information

Item ID: 26741
DC Identifier: https://oa.upm.es/26741/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:26741
DOI: 10.2514/1.45352
Official URL: http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/1.45352
Deposited by: Biblioteca ETSI Aeronauticos
Deposited on: 29 May 2014 07:31
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2016 10:46
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