Electron Emitter for small-size Electrodynamic Space Tether using MEMS Technology

René A. W. Fleron, Mogens Blanke

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    Abstract

    Adjustment of the orbit of a spacecraft using the forces created by an electro-dynamic space-tether has been shown as a theoretic possibility in recent literature. Practical implementation is being pursued for larger scale missions where a hot filament device controls electron emission and the current flowing in the electrodynamic space tether. Applications to small spacecraft, or space debris in the 1–10 kg range, possess difficulties with electron emission technology, as low power emitting devices are needed. This paper addresses the system concepts of a small spacecraft electrodynamic tether system with focus on electron emitter design and manufacture using micro-electro-mechanical- system (MEMS) technology. The paper addresses the system concepts of a small size electrodynamic tether mission and shows a novel electron emitter for the 1-2 mA range where altitude can be effectively affected and other orbit parameters can be controlled for small sized missions, without on-board propulsion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the ESA Symposium on Small Spacecraft Systems
    Place of PublicationLa Rochelle
    PublisherEuropean Space Agency
    Publication date2004
    Pages227-232
    Publication statusPublished - 2004
    EventESA Symposium on Small Spacecraft Systems - La Rochelle, France, Sept. 20-24
    Duration: 1 Jan 2004 → …

    Conference

    ConferenceESA Symposium on Small Spacecraft Systems
    CityLa Rochelle, France, Sept. 20-24
    Period01/01/2004 → …

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