Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




TECH SPACE
Snap-proof space tether
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) May 01, 2013


illustration only

Space tethers hold intriguing potential for satellite manoeuvring, attitude control and even power generation. But about half of all orbital tether tests have either failed to deploy or snapped, probably due to micrometeoroid impacts.

This scanning electron microscope image shows the new design of an ultra-thin and hopefully snap-proof solar sail tether soon to be tested on Estonia's ESTCube-1, which is being launched into orbit along with ESA's Proba-V satellite on the next Vega rocket in April.

Harnessing manufacturing techniques from the microelectronics industry, this aluminium tether measures just 50 micrometres across - across half the diameter of the average human hair - with a smaller 25 micrometre wire interweaved onto it.

The University of Helsinki's interweaving technique, with several wires joined together every centimetre, will hopefully keep the tether intact to run an electric charge down it, even if all but one subwires in the tether are cut.

Designed, built and operated by the students of several Estonian universities and led by the University of Tartu with Tartu Observatory, ESTCube-1 is part of ESA's Plan for Cooperating States agreement with Estonia, a one-year programme of activity taking place as a prelude to the country joining ESA as a Member State.

The electric solar sail, or 'E-sail' being tested by this CubeSat mission, passes electricity through wires such as these to generate electrostatic forces which in turn generate momentum.

In low orbit, E-sails could be used as brakes to deorbit satellites. Beyond Earth's magnetic field, satellites could one day make use of the solar wind to gain a nearly free ride across the Solar System.

ESTCube-1 will unfurl a 10 m-long single-strand E-sail to show its potential as a compact and economical deorbiting method, measuring the resulting force acting on the E-sail as it comes into contact with space plasma. A 100 m E-sail tether will fly on Finnish student CubeSat Aalto-1 next year.

.


Related Links
PECS
ESTCube-1
Electric solar sailing
Aalto-1
University of Helsinki Electronics Research Laboratory
Proba-V
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TECH SPACE
Astrium: operational and commercial launch of the fully complete Pleiades constellation
Paris (SPX) Mar 25, 2013
Astrium has announced the operational and commercial launch of the fully complete Pleiades constellation as well as SPOT 6, following the successful in-orbit qualification of the Pleiades 1B and SPOT 6 satellites. "Astrium Services will now distribute images from the twin Pleiades 1A and 1B satellites, operating as a fully-fledged constellation", said Astrium Services CEO Evert Dudok. "Thi ... read more


TECH SPACE
Characterizing The Lunar Radiation Environment

Russia rekindles Moon exploration program, intends setting up first human outposts there

Pre-existing mineralogy may survive lunar impacts

Lunar cycle determines hunting behaviour of nocturnal gulls

TECH SPACE
Dutch reality show seeks one-way astronauts for Mars

Accurate pointing by Curiosity

NASA Mars Orbiter Images May Show 1971 Soviet Lander

Opportunity is in position for solar conjunction at 'Cape York' on the rim of Endeavour Crater

TECH SPACE
NASA's Chief Defends Commercial Spaceflight Agreements

NASA Invites the Public to Fly Along with Voyager

Google's Brin keeps spotlight on future technologies

Mysterious water on Jupiter came from comet smash

TECH SPACE
Yuanwang III, VI depart for space-tracking missions

Shenzhou's Shadow Crew

Shenzhou 10 sent to launch site

China's Next Women Astronauts

TECH SPACE
NASA Extends Crew Flight Contract with Russian Space Agency

Cargo spaceship docks with ISS despite antenna mishap

ISS Communications Test Bed Checks Out; Experiments Begin

Spacewalkers Deploy Plasma Experiment, Install Navigational Aid

TECH SPACE
O3b Networks' first four satellites arrive for the next Arianespace Soyuz launch

On the record with... Stephane Israel, Arianespace Chairman and CEO

Vega's three-satellite payload is integrated and ready for launch

NASA Seeks Innovative Suborbital Flight Technology Proposals

TECH SPACE
Astronomer studies far-off worlds through 'characterization by proxy'

Mysterious Hot Spots Observed In A Cool Red Supergiant

Orbital Selected By NASA for TESS Astrophysics Satellite

Star-and Planet-Forming Regions May Hold Key to Life's Chirality

TECH SPACE
NASA, Air Force Seek Next Generation Space Processor Program

The Day NASA's Fermi Dodged a 1.5-ton Bullet

Snap-proof space tether

NASA, Partners Solicit Creative Materials Manufacturing Solutions




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement