On the validity of recent predictions for tethers on elliptical orbits

S.W. Ziegler, M.P. Cartmell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

4 Citations (Scopus)


Predictions for the velocity increment generated by spinning momentum exchange tethers on elliptical orbits have been made recently by employing the principle of conservation of momentum and Hohmann transfer analysis. This paper assesses the validity of these predictions by numerically simulating the tether's nonlinear attitude dynamics. The results demonstrate that the maximum velocity increment for a prograde librating and spinning tether at perigee after completing a full orbit is several factors less in magnitude than that predicted by recent mission analyses. Furthermore, the largest positive velocity increment at perigee does not necessarily occur when the payload is above the facility with the tether aligned along the gravity vector. When the payload is released in the vicinity of the gravity vector at perigee the obtainable velocity increment is found to be one to two orders of magnitude less than that predicted by the recent mission analyses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Event2001 AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting - Santa Barbara, CA., United States
Duration: 11 Feb 200115 Feb 2001


Conference2001 AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Barbara, CA.


Dive into the research topics of 'On the validity of recent predictions for tethers on elliptical orbits'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this