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SBIR/STTR

Advanced Particle-in-Cell (PIC) Tools for Simulation of Electrodynamic Tether Plasma Interactions, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Advanced Particle-in-Cell (PIC) Tools for Simulation of Electrodynamic Tether Plasma Interactions, Phase I
Electrodynamic tethers are optimally suited for use in Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) to generate thrust or drag maneuver satellites. LEO region is polluted with space debris from the left over of rockets and abandoned satellites. It becomes important to clean them, i.e., de-orbit and ED tethers are promising for such applications. ED tethers are operating without propellants, so less polluting in our space and also cost-efficient. Tether powered satellites can operate in dual mode (thrust or power generation). Advanced PIC tools can perform self-consistent 2-D and 3-D tether simulations to study the plasma interactions and will improve the understanding of the self-induced magnetic field effects on the current collection ability of these ED tethers. These tools once validated using tether ribbon tape experiments can help NASA researchers to analyze various tether geometries in efforts to optimize tether design for space missions on a wide range of operating conditions. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.

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