This Month in JBIS: August 2020


Optimised Satellite Sail Deployment Mechanism Based On Flexible Pushing Arms by Alexandru Cornogolub: This paper presents a new idea for the deployment of solar or drag sails for satellites, with flexible arms keeping the booms which support the sails in a coiled-up state. Achieving this requires careful design, and this paper details a mathematical method of arriving at the optimum design for the arms; a prototype has been 3D-printed and tested.


Illustrating The Theory of Clusters Using Harwell Space Cluster by Joanna Hart: The “cluster” idea, in which organisations in the same field are located on the same site, is a highly effective way to allow such companies to collaborate and to drive innovation. The Harwell space cluster is a prime example of this concept in action, and showcases the UK space sector.

Feasibility Study for an Extremely Low-Earth-Orbiting Spacecraft (Eleos) Using A System-Driven Approach

by Anatolii P. Papulov & Ighor K. Uzhinsky:

A satellite in a very low orbit, say 150-250 km, would be very useful for a number of applications, but poses challenges in compensating for atmospheric drag. One method of accomplishing this is to use electric propulsion, using atmospheric gases as reaction mass. This concept could be useful not only in Earth orbit, but for sampling for the Venusian atmosphere and the geysers of Enceladus. This paper surveys the challenges that remain to be solved in intake design.


Tractor Swarm by Oliver Page: The Tractor swarm is a number of small spacecraft intended to attach themselves to a larger, non-cooperative vehicle at multiple grappling points and manoeuver it in attitude and vector, for active debris removal, repair, and construction, amongst other uses. This paper examines the feasibility and preliminary sizing of the concept, along with possible applications.



JBIS Vol 73 No 08 – August 2020

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