Particle simulation of plasma drag force generation in the magnetic plasma deorbit

Rei Kawashima, Junhwi Bak, Shinji Matsuzawa, Takaya Inamori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The magnetic plasma deorbit method has been proposed for micro and nanosatellites in the low Earth orbit. The magnetic plasma deorbit uses the plasma drag force generated by the interaction between space plasma and the magnetic field surrounding magnetic torquers (MTQs). In this study, the plasma drag force generated by the magnetic plasma deorbit method is estimated by using a plasma flow simulation based on the fully kinetic model. The dependences of the plasma drag force on the MTQ angle, atmospheric plasma density, and MTQ magnetic moment are investigated. The simulation results show that the structures of the bow shock and magnetosphere are formed in the vicinity of the MTQs. The predicted plasma drag force is 105.2 nN for an MTQ of 10 A m2 when the MTQ magnetic moment is parallel to the satellite velocity direction. The plasma drag force shows a strong dependence on the magnetic moment angle. In addition, the plasma drag force is proportional to the atmospheric plasma density and the MTQ magnetic moment. Steady drag force generation in the magnetic plasma deorbit is validated, and the sensitivities of the drag force to the relevant parameters are elucidated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1074-1082
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Volume55
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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