SLING SATELLITE FOR DEBRIS REMOVAL WITH AGGIE SWEEPER Conference Paper uri icon

abstract

  • Low Earth Orbit is over cluttered by rogue objects. Traditional satellite missions are not efficient enough to collect an appreciable amount of debris due to the high cost of orbit transfers. Many alternate proposals are politically controversial, costly, or dependant on further technological advances. This paper proposes an efficient mission structure, "Aggie Sweeper," and bespoke hardware, "Sling-Sat," to de-orbit debris by capturing and appropriately expelling them. Momentum exchanges from these plastic collisions can assist orbit transfers to subsequent debris without burning fuel! Optimizing the collection sequence and method of interaction is a primary focus of this research. The proposed hardware also exploits existing momentum to save fuel. Capturing debris at the ends of a spinning satellite, adjusting angular rate, and then simply letting go at a specified time provides a simple mechanism for redirecting the debris.

author list (cited authors)

  • Missel, J., & Mortari, D.

publication date

  • October 2011