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Deployable mechanisms for small to medium sized space debris removal


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St-Onge, David and Gosselin, Clément. 2014. « Deployable mechanisms for small to medium sized space debris removal ». In 65th International Astronautical Congress 2014: Our World Needs Space (IAC) (Toronto, ON, Canada, Sept. 29-Oct. 3, 2014) Coll. « Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress » pp. 1461-1471. International Astronautical Federation (IAF).
Compte des citations dans Scopus : 1.

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St-Onge D 2014 18928.pdf - Accepted Version
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This research aims to propose a new paradigm in orbital debris removal systems. While most groups addressing this issue focus on the high priority of removing the largest debris, we consider the threat posed by those smaller than 10cm as serious. A 2cm paint chip is known to be able to render useless most spacecraft as well as being way more difficult to follow and thus to avoid. We propose a mission to sweep the main Low Earth Orbits with a 100 to 500 metre diameter cupola that would collect small debris. The cupola consists of a deployable mechanism supporting a membrane. The deployment mechanism has to reach a minimal expansion ratio of about 30, in order to create a very wide collecting surface. The membrane covering its surface would be rigid enough to capture most small debris and to at least slow down the mediumsized ones, accelerating their fall. An overview of our almost-rigid-link mechanism proposed to support the collecting surface is presented. The proposed mechanisms is based on previous work on deployable mechanisms developed for a variety of applications. However, conventional deployable rigid-link mechanisms typically produce expansions that are much smaller that the ratio required in the present application. Therefore, cable or belts systems are included in order to further increase the expansion ratio while maintaining a low mass. While in operation, the cupola will obviously be subjected to many ultra-highvelocity impacts and its orientation will likely undergo deviations from the targeted optimum. Therefore, another important feature of the proposed debris removal concept is the development of means of reorienting and stabilizing the cupola using internal electric deployment actuators instead of fuel thrusters. The concept of reorientation using internal actuators is presented and simple examples are provided. Finally, the performance of the concept is confronted to data analysis from MASTER09 and with the recent release of ORDEM3. This data serves as the basis for the design specifications. Space debris removal is a high priority for the future of space missions and space exploration. The approach proposed here is believed to be one of the pieces of the puzzle.

Item Type: Conference proceeding
ISBN: 00741795 (ISSN); 9781634399869 (ISBN)
St-Onge, David
Affiliation: Autres
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2019 14:43
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2019 15:00

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