Use of an active electrodynamic tether to provide a variable Orbit for effective radiation modeling at different altitudes in the Low Earth Orbit

Ishaan Sood, Adheesh Boratkar, Rodney Gracian, Smit Kamal

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

Abstract

One of the most crucial factors which influence the mission life of satellites in the Low Earth Orbit is atmospheric radiation. This radiation poses a serious threat to the satellites components and to provide measures to counteract it, its measurement is a very crucial objective. However simply using a radiation detector on a satellite in a specific orbit is not sufficient as it limits the range of the detector only to the altitude of the satellite and as radiation density is dynamic and changes with solar activity. Hence a system is required which provides a cost effect method of varying the altitude of the satellite over a period of time to effectively measure radiation at different altitudes during its orbit. This paper presents the use of an active electrodynamic tether system integrated with a Nano-satellite to achieve the same. The tether system consists of a long conducting wire which when lowered into the atmosphere provides a closed circuit with the plasma of the ionosphere for the flow of current. This current flow interacts with the magnetic field of the Earth to generate a Lorentz drag force on the satellite causing the satellite to lose altitude while simultaneous generating power which is stored in batteries. To reboost the satellite, a current is provided to the tether in the opposite direction using the power obtained during deboosting along with power from the solar panels of the satellite, causing a lift on the satellite and hence gaining altitude. This process is carried out throughout the satellite's orbit and the radiation detector continues to collect data at different altitudes. This paper explores the use of a scintillator and a photomultiplier tube for the measurement of electron flux densities at different altitudes as these radiations pose the greatest threats to on-board electronics. The data obtained will be used to map out the radiation variations which will help future space missions. This paper also illustrates the use of a mathematical model to simulate the rate of ascent and descent of the satellite while the tether is deployed which enables us to predict the orbit change of the satellite.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
Pages3890-3897
Number of pages8
Volume5
ISBN (Print)9781629939094
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2013
Externally publishedYes
Event64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013 - Beijing, China
Duration: 23-09-201327-09-2013

Conference

Conference64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013
CountryChina
CityBeijing
Period23-09-1327-09-13

Fingerprint

Tetherlines
electrodynamics
Electrodynamics
low Earth orbits
Orbits
Earth (planet)
Satellites
orbits
Radiation
radiation
modeling
Radiation detectors
radiation detectors
Atmospheric radiation
atmospheric radiation
electron flux density
satellite orbits
Electron tubes
ascent
space missions

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Sood, I., Boratkar, A., Gracian, R., & Kamal, S. (2013). Use of an active electrodynamic tether to provide a variable Orbit for effective radiation modeling at different altitudes in the Low Earth Orbit. In 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013 (Vol. 5, pp. 3890-3897). International Astronautical Federation, IAF.
Sood, Ishaan ; Boratkar, Adheesh ; Gracian, Rodney ; Kamal, Smit. / Use of an active electrodynamic tether to provide a variable Orbit for effective radiation modeling at different altitudes in the Low Earth Orbit. 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013. Vol. 5 International Astronautical Federation, IAF, 2013. pp. 3890-3897
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Sood, I, Boratkar, A, Gracian, R & Kamal, S 2013, Use of an active electrodynamic tether to provide a variable Orbit for effective radiation modeling at different altitudes in the Low Earth Orbit. in 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013. vol. 5, International Astronautical Federation, IAF, pp. 3890-3897, 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013, Beijing, China, 23-09-13.

Use of an active electrodynamic tether to provide a variable Orbit for effective radiation modeling at different altitudes in the Low Earth Orbit. / Sood, Ishaan; Boratkar, Adheesh; Gracian, Rodney; Kamal, Smit.

64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013. Vol. 5 International Astronautical Federation, IAF, 2013. p. 3890-3897.

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

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Sood I, Boratkar A, Gracian R, Kamal S. Use of an active electrodynamic tether to provide a variable Orbit for effective radiation modeling at different altitudes in the Low Earth Orbit. In 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013. Vol. 5. International Astronautical Federation, IAF. 2013. p. 3890-3897