Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Anselmo L., Pardini C. On the survivability of tethers in space. In: 51st International Astronautical Congress (Rio de Janeiro, Brasile, october 2000). Proceedings, 2000.
Tethers have been proposed for several space applications, like satellite de-orbiting or re-boost, electric energy generation, scientific research and so on. However, they may be vulnerable to orbital debris and meteoroid impacts. The problem was assessed, to assist tether systems design, by detailed numerical computations of the average impact rate of artificial debris, taking into account the specific geometric properties of tethers as debris targets, when compared to typical satellites. The results obtained confirm that, for single-strand tethers in low earth orbit, the probability to be severed by orbital debris and meteoroid impacts is quite significant, making necessary the adoption of innovative designs for long duration missions.
Subject aerospace
J.2 Physical Sciences and Engineering

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