Needs assessment of gossamer structures in communications platform end-of-life disposal

Malcolm Macdonald, Colin McInnes, Charlotte Bewick

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

9 Citations (Scopus)
149 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The use of a gossamer structure is considered in application to end-of-life disposal of communications platforms. A wide-ranging survey of end-of-life disposal techniques and strategies is presented for comparison against a gossamer structure prior to a down-selection of viable competing techniques; solar sailing, high and low-thrust propulsion, and electrodynamic tethers. A parametric comparison of the down-selection competing techniques is presented where it was found that exploiting solar radiation pressure on the gossamer structure was of limited value. In general terms, it was found that if a spacecraft propulsion system remains functioning at the end-of-life then this will likely provide the most efficient means of re-orbiting, especially when the propulsion system is only used to lower the orbit to a point where atmospheric drag will cause the orbit to decay within the required timeframe. Atmospheric drag augmentation was found to be of most benefit for end-of-life disposal when an entirely passive means is required, allowing the device to act as a ‘fail-safe’, which if the spacecraft suffers a catastrophic failure would activate. The use of an atmospheric drag augmentation system is applicable to only low and medium mass spacecraft, or spacecraft that are unlikely to survive atmospheric re-entry, hence minimizing risk to human life.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2013
EventAIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference 2013 - Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Duration: 19 Aug 201322 Aug 2013

Conference

ConferenceAIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference 2013
CountryUnited States
CityBoston, Massachusetts
Period19/08/1322/08/13

Fingerprint

Drag
Spacecraft
Propulsion
Communication
Orbits
Spacecraft propulsion
Reentry
Electrodynamics
Solar radiation

Keywords

  • end-of-life disposal
  • communications platform
  • needs assessment
  • spacecraft
  • low-thrust propulsion
  • high-thrust propulsion
  • solar sail propulsion
  • atmospheric drag

Cite this

Macdonald, M., McInnes, C., & Bewick, C. (2013). Needs assessment of gossamer structures in communications platform end-of-life disposal. Paper presented at AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference 2013, Boston, Massachusetts, United States.
Macdonald, Malcolm ; McInnes, Colin ; Bewick, Charlotte. / Needs assessment of gossamer structures in communications platform end-of-life disposal. Paper presented at AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference 2013, Boston, Massachusetts, United States.21 p.
@conference{982307bfb3954acba5a986e0dca305e8,
title = "Needs assessment of gossamer structures in communications platform end-of-life disposal",
abstract = "The use of a gossamer structure is considered in application to end-of-life disposal of communications platforms. A wide-ranging survey of end-of-life disposal techniques and strategies is presented for comparison against a gossamer structure prior to a down-selection of viable competing techniques; solar sailing, high and low-thrust propulsion, and electrodynamic tethers. A parametric comparison of the down-selection competing techniques is presented where it was found that exploiting solar radiation pressure on the gossamer structure was of limited value. In general terms, it was found that if a spacecraft propulsion system remains functioning at the end-of-life then this will likely provide the most efficient means of re-orbiting, especially when the propulsion system is only used to lower the orbit to a point where atmospheric drag will cause the orbit to decay within the required timeframe. Atmospheric drag augmentation was found to be of most benefit for end-of-life disposal when an entirely passive means is required, allowing the device to act as a ‘fail-safe’, which if the spacecraft suffers a catastrophic failure would activate. The use of an atmospheric drag augmentation system is applicable to only low and medium mass spacecraft, or spacecraft that are unlikely to survive atmospheric re-entry, hence minimizing risk to human life.",
keywords = "end-of-life disposal, communications platform, needs assessment, spacecraft, low-thrust propulsion, high-thrust propulsion, solar sail propulsion, atmospheric drag",
author = "Malcolm Macdonald and Colin McInnes and Charlotte Bewick",
year = "2013",
month = "8",
day = "19",
language = "English",
note = "AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference 2013 ; Conference date: 19-08-2013 Through 22-08-2013",

}

Macdonald, M, McInnes, C & Bewick, C 2013, 'Needs assessment of gossamer structures in communications platform end-of-life disposal' Paper presented at AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference 2013, Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 19/08/13 - 22/08/13, .

Needs assessment of gossamer structures in communications platform end-of-life disposal. / Macdonald, Malcolm; McInnes, Colin; Bewick, Charlotte.

2013. Paper presented at AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference 2013, Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - Needs assessment of gossamer structures in communications platform end-of-life disposal

AU - Macdonald, Malcolm

AU - McInnes, Colin

AU - Bewick, Charlotte

PY - 2013/8/19

Y1 - 2013/8/19

N2 - The use of a gossamer structure is considered in application to end-of-life disposal of communications platforms. A wide-ranging survey of end-of-life disposal techniques and strategies is presented for comparison against a gossamer structure prior to a down-selection of viable competing techniques; solar sailing, high and low-thrust propulsion, and electrodynamic tethers. A parametric comparison of the down-selection competing techniques is presented where it was found that exploiting solar radiation pressure on the gossamer structure was of limited value. In general terms, it was found that if a spacecraft propulsion system remains functioning at the end-of-life then this will likely provide the most efficient means of re-orbiting, especially when the propulsion system is only used to lower the orbit to a point where atmospheric drag will cause the orbit to decay within the required timeframe. Atmospheric drag augmentation was found to be of most benefit for end-of-life disposal when an entirely passive means is required, allowing the device to act as a ‘fail-safe’, which if the spacecraft suffers a catastrophic failure would activate. The use of an atmospheric drag augmentation system is applicable to only low and medium mass spacecraft, or spacecraft that are unlikely to survive atmospheric re-entry, hence minimizing risk to human life.

AB - The use of a gossamer structure is considered in application to end-of-life disposal of communications platforms. A wide-ranging survey of end-of-life disposal techniques and strategies is presented for comparison against a gossamer structure prior to a down-selection of viable competing techniques; solar sailing, high and low-thrust propulsion, and electrodynamic tethers. A parametric comparison of the down-selection competing techniques is presented where it was found that exploiting solar radiation pressure on the gossamer structure was of limited value. In general terms, it was found that if a spacecraft propulsion system remains functioning at the end-of-life then this will likely provide the most efficient means of re-orbiting, especially when the propulsion system is only used to lower the orbit to a point where atmospheric drag will cause the orbit to decay within the required timeframe. Atmospheric drag augmentation was found to be of most benefit for end-of-life disposal when an entirely passive means is required, allowing the device to act as a ‘fail-safe’, which if the spacecraft suffers a catastrophic failure would activate. The use of an atmospheric drag augmentation system is applicable to only low and medium mass spacecraft, or spacecraft that are unlikely to survive atmospheric re-entry, hence minimizing risk to human life.

KW - end-of-life disposal

KW - communications platform

KW - needs assessment

KW - spacecraft

KW - low-thrust propulsion

KW - high-thrust propulsion

KW - solar sail propulsion

KW - atmospheric drag

UR - http://www.aiaa.org/EventDetail.aspx?id=4713

M3 - Paper

ER -

Macdonald M, McInnes C, Bewick C. Needs assessment of gossamer structures in communications platform end-of-life disposal. 2013. Paper presented at AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference 2013, Boston, Massachusetts, United States.