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Micro-to-Macro : astrodynamics at extremes of length-scale

McInnes, Colin and Ceriotti, Matteo and Colombo, Camilla and Sanchez Cuartielles, Joan-Pau and Bewick, Russell and Heiligers, Jeannette and Lucking, Charlotte (2011) Micro-to-Macro : astrodynamics at extremes of length-scale. Acta Futura, 4. pp. 81-97.

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates astrodynamics at extremes of length-scale, ranging from swarms of future ‘smart dust’ devices to the capture and utilisation of small near Earth asteroids. At the smallest length-scales families of orbits are found which balance the energy gain from solar radiation pressure with energy dissipation due to air drag. This results in long orbit lifetimes for high area-to-mass ratio ‘smart dust’ devices. High area-to-mass hybrid spacecraft, using both solar sail and electric propulsion, are then considered to enable ‘pole-sitter’ orbits providing a polar-stationary vantage point for Earth observation. These spacecraft are also considered to enable displaced geostationary orbits. Finally, the potential material resource available from captured near Earth asteroids is considered which can underpin future large-scale space engineering ventures. The use of such material for geoengineering is investigated using a cloud of unprocessed dust in the vicinity of the Earth-Sun L1 point to fractionally reduce solar insolation.

    Item type: Article
    ID code: 41231
    Keywords: astrodynamics, smart dust, near Earth asteroids, pole-sitter orbits, geoengineering, Mechanical engineering and machinery, Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics, Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Control and Systems Engineering
    Subjects: Technology > Mechanical engineering and machinery
    Technology > Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
    Department: Faculty of Engineering > Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
    Technology and Innovation Centre > Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing
    Related URLs:
    Depositing user: Pure Administrator
    Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2012 09:49
    Last modified: 28 Mar 2014 11:12
    URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/41231

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