Session

Technical Session X: Mission Enabling Technologies 1

SSC10-X-9.pdf (1489 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

To provide a cost-effective means for satellite operators to comply with 25-year post-mission orbital lifetime restriction, Tethers Unlimited is developing a lightweight de-orbit module called the “Terminator Tape™”. The Terminator Tape is a small module that bolts onto any side of a spacecraft during satellite integration. At the completion of the satellite’s mission, the satellite will activate the Terminator Tape module, which will then deploy a fifty-meter length of thin conducting tape. This tape will not only significantly enhance the aerodynamic drag experienced by the system, but will also generate electrodynamic drag forces through passive interactions with the Earth’s magnetic field and conducting ionospheric plasma, de-orbiting the satellite within 25 years. Two modules are currently in development, one sized for microsatellites operating at altitudes of less than 900 km, and the other sized for CubeSats operating at altitudes of up to 1100 km. Deployment of prototype modules has been successfully demonstrated in a microgravity environment.

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Aug 11th, 5:44 PM

Cost-Effective End-of-Mission Disposal of LEO Microsatellites: The Terminator Tape

To provide a cost-effective means for satellite operators to comply with 25-year post-mission orbital lifetime restriction, Tethers Unlimited is developing a lightweight de-orbit module called the “Terminator Tape™”. The Terminator Tape is a small module that bolts onto any side of a spacecraft during satellite integration. At the completion of the satellite’s mission, the satellite will activate the Terminator Tape module, which will then deploy a fifty-meter length of thin conducting tape. This tape will not only significantly enhance the aerodynamic drag experienced by the system, but will also generate electrodynamic drag forces through passive interactions with the Earth’s magnetic field and conducting ionospheric plasma, de-orbiting the satellite within 25 years. Two modules are currently in development, one sized for microsatellites operating at altitudes of less than 900 km, and the other sized for CubeSats operating at altitudes of up to 1100 km. Deployment of prototype modules has been successfully demonstrated in a microgravity environment.