The number of space debris orbiting our Earth has been continuously increasing since the beginning of the space era. The space community is converging on responsible conducts and self-regulations to address this serious problem that is degrading the near-Earth environment. In this context, green deorbiting technologies and strategies alternative to the traditional chemical propulsion are under investigation, including Electrodynamic Tethers (EDTs) because they are a promising option. To increase EDT technology maturity level, some critical points shall be addressed and experimentally evaluated, including the deployment of tape tethers, to demonstrate their reliability. This paper presents results of an experimental validation of the Deployment Mechanism (DM) proposed for the H2020 FET OPEN Project E.T.PACK – Electrodynamic Tether Technology for Passive Consumable-less Deorbit Kit. We developed a mockup that hosts the DM and other elements that are on board the tip mass of a tethered system, using off-the-shelf components. The DM is tested for the first part of the tether deployment maneuver employing the SPARTANS facility of the University of Padova. This facility includes a Testing Table where the mock-up can move with almost no friction and a Motion Capture system that provides an accurate estimation of the mock-up motion during this first part of the tether deployment maneuver.

EXPERIMENTAL VALIDATION OF A DEPLOYMENT MECHANISM FOR TAPE-TETHERED SATELLITES

Andrea Valmorbida;Lorenzo Olivieri;Giulia Sarego;Alice Brunello;Davide Vertuani;Carlo Bettanini;Marco Pertile;Enrico Lorenzini
2021

Abstract

The number of space debris orbiting our Earth has been continuously increasing since the beginning of the space era. The space community is converging on responsible conducts and self-regulations to address this serious problem that is degrading the near-Earth environment. In this context, green deorbiting technologies and strategies alternative to the traditional chemical propulsion are under investigation, including Electrodynamic Tethers (EDTs) because they are a promising option. To increase EDT technology maturity level, some critical points shall be addressed and experimentally evaluated, including the deployment of tape tethers, to demonstrate their reliability. This paper presents results of an experimental validation of the Deployment Mechanism (DM) proposed for the H2020 FET OPEN Project E.T.PACK – Electrodynamic Tether Technology for Passive Consumable-less Deorbit Kit. We developed a mockup that hosts the DM and other elements that are on board the tip mass of a tethered system, using off-the-shelf components. The DM is tested for the first part of the tether deployment maneuver employing the SPARTANS facility of the University of Padova. This facility includes a Testing Table where the mock-up can move with almost no friction and a Motion Capture system that provides an accurate estimation of the mock-up motion during this first part of the tether deployment maneuver.
Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON METROLOGY FOR AEROSPACE
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Descrizione: © 2021 IEEE. The work was performed under a grant from EU funding with a deposit mandate, personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3394816
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