Special Issue "Space Tether Missions"

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Vladimir S. Aslanov
Website
Guest Editor
Head of Theoretical Mechanics Department Samara National Research University, Samara, Russia
Interests: tethered satellite systems; re-entry ballistics; space debris removal; dynamics and control of satellites in non-contact interaction

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Space tethers are an evolving, important, and enabling space technology with multiple applications in near Earth orbit, in interplanetary space, and around other planets. Space tether systems have long ceased to be just theory. The first experiments with using them were conducted in the mid 1960s, and currently more than ten programs have been realised. The range of problems where space tethers find application is extremely wide. The problems of returning payloads from orbit and of atmospheric sounding have wide practical implementation. Various transport operations, electricity generation, the exploration of deep space, and many other tasks can be resolved with the help of space tether systems. Electrodynamic tethers can use solar power to ‘push’ against a planetary magnetic field to achieve propulsion without the expenditure of propellant for orbit raising, lowering, inclination change, and drag make-up. The main differences of the tether systems from conventional spacecraft are their great length, variable configuration, and their ability to interact with the Earth’s magnetic field. These features provide a variety of possible ways for using tethers in space. The problem of predicting abnormal situations that may arise during tether deployment is also significant. Tethers can be used to support space science by providing a mechanism for precision formation flying, fixed-baseline multi-point science observations, and for reaching regions of the upper atmosphere that were previously inaccessible.

  • Space Tethers for Space Environment Research
  • Novel Science Measurements Using Tether Technology
  • Electrodynamic and Momentum Exchange Tether Propulsion
  • Space Tether Modeling Techniques
  • Space Elevators
  • Tethers for Artificial Gravity
  • Orbital Debris Removal by Tether
  • Other Advanced Tether Concepts

Prof. Dr. Vladimir S. Aslanov
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
TED Project: Conjugating Technology Development and Educational Activities
Aerospace 2019, 6(6), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6060073 - 18 Jun 2019
Abstract
TED (Tethered Electromagnetic Docking) is a system proposed by a group of researchers and students of the University of Padova for close rendezvous and docking between spacecraft. It consists in a small tethered probe ejected by the chaser, reaching the proximity of the [...] Read more.
TED (Tethered Electromagnetic Docking) is a system proposed by a group of researchers and students of the University of Padova for close rendezvous and docking between spacecraft. It consists in a small tethered probe ejected by the chaser, reaching the proximity of the target with a controlled deployment, and then magnetically guided by a receiving electromagnet mounted on it. Because of the generated magnetic field, alignment and mating are possible; then, as the tether is rewound, the chaser is able to dock with the target. To perform a preliminary verification of TED, three groups of students have been involved in the project and contributed to the evaluation of its critical technologies in reduced gravity: in the framework of ESA “Drop your Thesis!” 2014 and 2016 campaigns the experiments FELDs and STAR focused on the test of the tether deployment and control, while PACMAN, in the framework of ESA “Fly Your Thesis! 2017” parabolic flights campaign, tested proximity operations by means of electromagnetic interactions. In this paper, a description of TED concept and its development roadmap is presented, introducing the critical technologies tested by FELDs, STAR, and PACMAN experiments. The second part of the paper focuses on the educational outcomes of the three experiments, introducing statistics on (1) student participation, (2) scientific publication production, and (3) influence of the educational programs on the students’ career. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space Tether Missions)
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