Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.

 

Stephen Hawking

 

RemoveDebris to launch space cleanup demonstrator

RATE THIS! +24
Posted in Science on 6th Jul, 2016 04:12 PM by AlexMuller

According to the Surrey Space Centre, there are some 7,000 tonnes (7,716 tons) of space debris circling the Earth, consisting of dead satellites, booster rocket stages, paint chips, and shrapnel from collisions. Whizzing in orbit at tens of thousands of miles per hour, even a small fragment could destroy a satellite.

 

To help clean things up, the Centre has announced that it is leading a mission early next year to send the RemoveDebris demonstrator into orbit to test low-cost technologies that could be used to collect and remove space debris.

 
With the backing of the European Commission, the RemoveDebris mission is led by the Surrey Space Centre in partnership with Airbus, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) and others. It consists of a small cubical satellite based on the SSTL X-50 platform and is designed to carry four experimental payloads, cameras, and bays for two cubesats that will play the part of "debris."
 
If everything goes according to schedule, RemoveDebris will travel to the International Space Station in early 2017, where it will be launched into space. It will then move into a lower orbit, to carry out four experiments before re-entering the Earth's atmosphere to burn up.
 
In the first experiment, a cubesat designated DS-1 will be released. As it travels away from the satellite, it will inflate a balloon, which will act as a deorbit device while providing a larger target for RemoveDebris to aim at. When it reaches a range of about seven meters (23 ft), a weighted net developed by Airbus will be fired at the Cubesat.
 
The net will wrap around the satellite and the balloon while cameras record the results. The balloon will slow the cubesat down until it re-enters the atmosphere, though in a real operation the "debris" would be snared by the clean-up satellite and towed away for disposal.
 
In this, the second cubesat (DS-2) will be released and two stereoscopic vision-based navigation (VBN) cameras and a Lidar system will track it. The purpose of this is to test VBN systems under space conditions as a way of rendezvousing with and capturing tumbling space debris, such as a damaged or derelict satellite.
 
The third experiment is a harpoon, which is designed to impale debris for collection. In this case, the satellite will deploy a 10 x 10 cm (4 x 4 in) target on a boom sticking out 1.5 m (4.9 ft). The harpoon will fire at the target and a toggle will spring out to prevent it from slipping out again.
 
The final experiment involves the RemoveDebris satellite itself. When the other three experiments have been completed, it will release an umbrella-like mylar sail on carbon fiber booms and an inflation device will spread the sail out to a width of one meter (3.3 ft). Once in position, the sail will catch onto the tenuous remnants of the upper atmosphere and act like an airbrake in the same way as the balloon in the net experiment. The satellite will slow down, lose altitude, and eventually burn up on re-entry.
 
"Various orbits around the Earth that are commonly used for satellites and space missions are full of junk, which is a significant danger to our current and future spacecraft," says Dr Jason Forshaw, Surrey Space Centre project manager on the RemoveDebris team."Certain orbits, which are commonly used for imaging the earth, disaster monitoring and weather observation, are quickly filling up with junk, which could jeopardize the important satellites orbiting there.
 
A future big impact between junk in that orbit could result in a real life 'Gravity-like' chain reaction of collisions. The international community needs to start working together now to remove space junk. The space around Earth is part of Earth's environment and keeping it clean is a common responsibility. Our mission, RemoveDebris, is one of the first concerted efforts to pioneer future technologies to remove space junk."

Tags: spaceorbitsatellitespace junkhardwarespace debris

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Medicine on 2017-05-25 15:31:42
    Too Much Sleep Could Signal Dementia..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-05-25 15:26:18
    India cancels plans for huge coal power stations as solar.....read more
    Posted in Games on 2017-05-25 15:09:54
    Google Artificial Intelligence defeats human Go champion..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-05-24 15:12:39
    In 'Enormous Success,' Scientists Tie 52 Genes to Human.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-05-24 15:04:49
    Humans Accidentally Created a Protective Bubble Around Earth..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Obesity is top cause of preventable life-years lost, study shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Light can be utilized to control gene function..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Brain stimulation restores memory during lapses, research shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Wax worm caterpillar will eat plastic shopping bags: New.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me