Picture of smart phone in human hand

World leading smartphone and mobile technology research at Strathclyde...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by Strathclyde researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in researching exciting new applications for mobile and smartphone technology. But the transformative application of mobile technologies is also the focus of research within disciplines as diverse as Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Marketing, Human Resource Management and Biomedical Enginering, among others.

Explore Strathclyde's Open Access research on smartphone technology now...

Dynamics of a particle moving along an orbital tower

McInnes, C.R. (2005) Dynamics of a particle moving along an orbital tower. Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, 28 (2). pp. 380-382. ISSN 0731-5090

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)

Abstract

The concept of an orbital tower has been discussed in the literature by many authors over a number of years. Although the concept is clearly futuristic, interest has recently been revived as a result of advances in materials science (for example, see Refs. 1-4). In this Note, a simple model of the dynamics of a particle moving along an orbital tower is considered. First, it is demonstrated that at synchronous radius there exists a hyperbolic fixed point, resulting in an unstable equilibrium and a potential barrier that a particle must cross. The fixed point is an equilibrium point in the phase space, which represents the dynamics of the particle. It is shown that the addition of friction does not remove the hyperbolic fixed point, but merely modifies its instability timescale. Finally, it is shown that friction leads to phase paths converging asymptotically to a single manifold in the phase space of the problem. An approximation to this manifold is constructed. The analysis provides some insight into the practical application of orbital towers for the launch and retrieval of payloads.