Motorised momentum exchange space tethers : the dynamics of asymmetrical tethers and some recent new applications

Cartmell, Matthew and Ganilova, Olga and Lennon, Eoin and Shuttleworth, Gavin (2018) Motorised momentum exchange space tethers : the dynamics of asymmetrical tethers and some recent new applications. MATEC Web of Conferences, 148. 01001. ISSN 2261-236X

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    Abstract

    This paper reports on a first attempt to model the dynamics of an asymmetrical motorised momentum exchange tether for spacecraft payload propulsion, and it also provides some interesting summary results for two novel applications for motorised momentum exchange tethers. The asymmetrical tether analysis is very important because it represents the problematic scenario when payload mass unbalance intrudes, due to unexpected payload loss or failure to retrieve. Mass symmetry is highly desirable both dynamically and logistically, but it is shown in this paper that there is still realistic potential for mission rescue should an asymmetry condition arise. Conceptual designs for tethered payload release from LEO and lunar tether delivery and retrieval are also presented as options for future development.