Magnetic plasma deorbit system for nano- and micro-satellites using magnetic torquer interference with space plasma in low Earth orbit

Takaya Inamori, Rei Kawashima, Phongsatorn Saisutjarit, Nobutada Sako, Hiroyuki Ohsaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We propose a magnetic plasma deorbit (MPD) system using magnetic torquers (MTQs) for inducing the deorbit of nano- and micro-satellites. Currently, orbital space debris from these satellites is a matter of increasing concern to all satellites; however, deorbit systems have not been installed in most of these satellites. In general, nano- and micro-satellites have severe constraints on their power consumption, cost, and mass; therefore, it is difficult to install additional components that are not used in their main missions. The MPD system proposed in this study utilizes a drag force caused by the interaction between in-orbit space plasma and MTQs for attitude control. Because most nano- and micro-satellites already have MTQs installed for use in their attitude control, no additional thrusters and structures need to be installed for this deorbit system. Therefore, many satellites can be made to deorbit after their missions, which will reduce the accumulation of space debris. The present study assesses the duration required for the MPD to achieve deorbit using a plasma drag force model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-199
Number of pages8
JournalActa Astronautica
Volume112
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Deorbit
  • Magnetic plasma deorbit
  • Magnetic torquers
  • Nano- and micro-satellites
  • Space plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering

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