Title: High-speed observation of bare electrodynamic tape tether in inverse-origami method

Authors: Hironori A. Fujii

Addresses: TMIT Research Center, 2-27-13, Asakusa, Taitoh, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan

Abstract: Electrodynamic tethers that make use of electricity-conducting tethers in space could provide a propellant-free propulsion system in low Earth orbit. In 2010, deployment of a bare electrodynamic tape tether was attempted in a S-520-25 sounding rocket experiment by an international team of Japan, Europe, the USA and Australia. A new scheme, the inverse-origami method, is employed for the tape tether deployment and the space deployment of tape tether was the first success in the world. Understanding of deployment dynamics of tape tethers is prerequisite to establishing a highly reliable deployment technique of tape tethers in space. This paper introduces results of tether deployment experiments on the ground after the space demonstration. A high-speed camera is used to capture the dynamic behaviour of the tape tether under the deployment regime. The analysis of the experimental results shows the deployment drag induced by the friction force between the tape tether and the exit of the storage box as well as the deformation of the tape tether.

Keywords: bare electrodynamic tape tether; sounding rocket; space deployment; inverse-origami method; deployment dynamics; friction; highly reliable deployment; high-speed camera.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSPACESE.2017.087182

International Journal of Space Science and Engineering, 2017 Vol.4 No.4, pp.330 - 350

Received: 31 Mar 2017
Accepted: 23 Jun 2017

Published online: 26 Sep 2017 *

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