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Title: The mechanics of motorised momentum exchange tethers when applied to active debris removal from LEO

The concept of momentum exchange when applied to space tethers for propulsion is well established, and a considerable body of literature now exists on the on-orbit modelling, the dynamics, and also the control of a large range of tether system applications. The authors consider here a new application for the Motorised Momentum Exchange Tether by highlighting three key stages of development leading to a conceptualisation that can subsequently be developed into a technology for Active Debris Removal. The paper starts with a study of the on-orbit mechanics of a full sized motorised tether in which it is shown that a laden and therefore highly massasymmetrical tether can still be forced to spin, and certainly to librate, thereby confirming its possible usefulness for active debris removal (ADR). The second part of the paper concentrates on the modelling of the centripetal deployment of a symmetrical MMET in order to get it initialized for debris removal operations, and the third and final part of the paper provides an entry into scale modelling for low cost mission design and testing. It is shown that the motorised momentum exchange tether offers a potential solution to the removal of large pieces of orbital debris, and thatmore » dynamic methodologies can be implemented to in order to optimise the emergent design.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Mappin St., Sheffield, S1 3JD, England (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22390776
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1637; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: ICNPAA 2014: 10. International Conference on Mathematical Problems in Engineering, Aerospace and Sciences, Narvik (Norway), 15-18 Jul 2014; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; CONTROL; DESIGN; MATHEMATICAL SOLUTIONS; MECHANICS; ORBITS; POTENTIALS; PROPULSION; REMOVAL; SPACE; SPIN; TESTING