Active systems for withdrawing space objects

Research area – aviation and space.

Purpose – for cleaning near-earth space from hazardous space debris; construction of spacecraft, which include special devices designed to capture large-sized space debris, and propulsion systems based on an electric rocket engine (EJE) for moving and maneuvering in trashy space.

Area. Rocket and space industry and related areas in the priority direction of development of science and technology “Rational use of natural resources”.

Description. Since the beginning of the space era, near-Earth space has been increasingly filled with space debris (CM) of artificial origin. The growing accumulation of uncontrolled satellites, spent rocket stages, fragments of destroyed spacecraft (SC) and other space objects (SO), which move around the Earth at high speeds, pose a threat to functioning spacecraft. The most vulnerable to space debris is the geostationary orbit (GSO), where communication spacecraft, relaying, television, and early warning of a missile attack are concentrated. Fragments of CM can exist there for millions of years. Orbital constellations of spacecraft for various purposes are also in low-earth orbits (LVO). To prevent clogging of the near-earth space, active systems for retraction of spacecraft and spacecraft into safe orbits are proposed: dense layers of the atmosphere or burial orbits. The idea of ​​the development is to use an electric rocket propulsion system (EPPU) using the propulsion system of a launch vehicle. Using the launch vehicle, the active retraction system of the spacecraft (SC) is put into an elliptical orbit, and with the help of the EPPU – into the orbit of the meeting with the spacecraft or spacecraft to be retracted. After that, with the help of an electric rocket engine (ERE), they ensure the meeting and docking of the active retraction system with the spacecraft (SC) and transfer to the orbits of disposal or descent into the atmosphere. By determining the optimal motion patterns of the spacecraft, the mass and time of use of the system are minimized and the operating time of the spacecraft increases according to its intended purpose.

Advantages. The presence of a propulsion system (PS), which allows cleaning the specified altitude layers of near-earth space, carrying out rendezvous and docking with fragments of destroyed spacecraft (SC) and other space objects (SO) to be removed, and their removal to safe orbits. The use of an electric rocket engine (ERE), which leads to a decrease in the required fuel supply of the propulsion system due to the energy optimality of orbital transfers with low thrust and minimization of the mass of the system, and significantly increases the efficiency of its use as a whole.

Novelty. 1 patent of Ukraine.

Readiness. Improvement required.

Cooperation. Sale of technical documentation.

More details…