Optimal design and deorbiting performance of thermionic tethers in geostationary transfer orbits

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dc.contributor.author Sánchez Arriaga, Gonzalo
dc.contributor.author Chen, Xin
dc.contributor.author Lorenzini, Enrico C.
dc.date.accessioned 2021-03-17T12:22:58Z
dc.date.available 2021-03-17T12:22:58Z
dc.date.issued 2017-03-01
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation Journal of Propulsion and Power, (March 2017), 33(2), pp.: 425-432
dc.identifier.issn 0748-4658
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10016/32162
dc.description.abstract The application of a recent concept, a thermionic bare tether (that is, a long conductor coated with a thermionic material), to a practical engineering problem (deorbit space debris from geostationary transfer orbit) is presented. Lorentz drag on a thermionic bare tether, during each pass through an arc close to the perigee, lowers the apogee progressively and produces the object reentry. The performance of a spacecraft equipped with a thermionic bare tether is studied at two different levels, using models that couple thermal and electrical effects. In first place, a simple formula for the eccentricity decrement produced during each perigee pass as a function of TBT properties is derived and used to select TBT optimal dimensions. For a given tether mass, the formula shows that long tethers with small cross-section areas, but large enough to accomplish mechanical constraints, yield the best performance. Second, full numerical simulations of the deorbit maneuver including Lorentz force, air drag, and J2 perturbations are carried out. A spinning thermionic bare tether with a mass of about 16kg, as well as a length, width, and thickness equal to 6 km, 2 cm, and 50 mu m, respectively, passively deorbits a half-ton spacecraft (with a natural deorbit time of about 50 years) in less than six months, without using propellant, expellant, or power supply. The important roles played by the eclipses and the Earth's oblateness on thermionic bare tether performance are highlighted.
dc.description.sponsorship This work was supported by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain (grant no. RYC-2014-15357).
dc.format.extent 7
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
dc.rights ©2016 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved. Copies of this paper may be made for personal and internal use, on condition that the copier pay the per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). All requests for copying and permission to reprint should be submitted to CCC at www.copyright.com; employ the ISSN 0748-4658 (print) or 1533-3876 (online) to initiate your request.
dc.subject.other Electrodynamic tethers
dc.subject.other Tape tethers
dc.subject.other Emission
dc.subject.other Mission
dc.subject.other Probes
dc.subject.other Impact
dc.subject.other Geostationary transfer orbit
dc.subject.other Perigee
dc.subject.other Earth
dc.subject.other Lorentz force
dc.subject.other Propellant
dc.subject.other Space debris
dc.subject.other Power supplies
dc.subject.other Numerical simulation
dc.subject.other Eclipses
dc.subject.other Electron semperature
dc.title Optimal design and deorbiting performance of thermionic tethers in geostationary transfer orbits
dc.type article
dc.description.status Publicado
dc.relation.publisherversion https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/10.2514/1.B36202
dc.subject.eciencia Aeronáutica
dc.subject.eciencia Astronomía
dc.identifier.doi https://doi.org/10.2514/1.B36202
dc.rights.accessRights openAccess
dc.relation.projectID Gobierno de España. RYC-2014-15357
dc.type.version acceptedVersion
dc.identifier.publicationfirstpage 425
dc.identifier.publicationissue 2
dc.identifier.publicationlastpage 432
dc.identifier.publicationtitle Journal of Propulsion and Power
dc.identifier.publicationvolume 33
dc.identifier.uxxi AR/0000019670
dc.contributor.funder Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
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