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Pearson J.,STAR Inc. | Levin E.,STAR Inc. | Oldson J.,STAR Inc. | Carroll J.,Tether Applications Inc.
European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP | Year: 2010

The ElectroDynamic Debris Eliminator (EDDE) is a solar-powered propellantless space vehicle that can change its altitude by hundreds of kilometers per day and its orbital plane by degrees per day. It can thrust constantly, producing hundreds of kilometers per second delta-V in years of active maneuvering. A dozen EDDE vehicles could remove all of the 2,500 dangerous debris objects over 2 kg from LEO orbits in less than 7 years and make LEO much safer for the operational spacecraft. To support operations of new kinds of space vehicles like EDDE, space traffic management must be taken to a new level, because these vehicles have to constantly maneuver between the orbits of multiple operational satellites and debris objects, making the space traffic picture very dynamic. Flight tests are planned to demonstrate orbit changes and to evaluate and improve tracking, navigation and control methods.

Levin E.,Star Technology and Research, Inc. | Carroll J.,Tether Applications | Pearson J.,STAR Inc.
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2013

It is commonly accepted now that large debris objects, such as derelict satellites and rocket bodies, should be removed from LEO to prevent or at least reduce the frequency of new catastrophic collisions. Such collisions can produce hundreds of thousands of debris fragments in the centimeter range ("shrapnel") that are hard to track, but could be long-lived and lethal to operational spacecraft. Different technologies are being proposed and developed for debris removal. While it is important to begin the process of debris removal in the near future, it is not less important to assess the sustainability and long-term implications of the proposed debris removal campaigns. In this paper, we describe a high-level statistical model of shrapnel production and use it to evaluate the average cost of a catastrophic collision as the statistically expected loss due to the damage to operational satellites and loss of their functions as a result of future collisions in LEO. The model is phenomenological and based on the two most relevant empirical data points, the Fengyun-1C and Cosmos-Iridium events. Using this model, we have found that the primary loss occurs not in the catastrophic collision itself, but within a decade after the collision, when a piece of untracked shrapnel produced in that collision hits a high value asset. It could be a "hidden" loss, because it may be hard to determine the true reason for the asset failure. Knowing the average anticipated loss resulting from future catastrophic collisions, we estimate the annual insurance premium that could be reasonably associated with coverage of the losses from such events. This could be treated as a gauge for rationality of the financial burdens of different debris removal campaigns. We then review long-term financial implications of debris removal campaigns and touch upon the question of the exit strategies and a transition to a low-cost self-regulating regime in the future after the bulk of the large legacy debris is removed from LEO.

Pearson J.,Star Technology and Research, Inc. | Carroll J.,Tether Applications | Levin E.,STAR Inc.
61st International Astronautical Congress 2010, IAC 2010 | Year: 2010

The ElectroDynamic Debris Eliminator (EDDE) is a low-cost solution for LEO space debris removal. EDDE can affordably remove nearly all the 2,465 objects of more than 2 kg that are now in 500-2000 km orbits. That is more than 99% of the total mass, collision area, and debris-generation potential in LEO. EDDE is a propellantless vehicle that reacts against the Earth's magnetic field. EDDE can climb about 200 km/day and change orbit plane at 1.5°/day, even in polar orbit. No other electric vehicle can match these rates, much less sustain them for years. After catching and releasing one object, EDDE can climb and torque its orbit to reach another object within days, while actively avoiding other catalogued objects. Binocular imaging allows accurate relative orbit determination from a distance. Capture uses lightweight expendable nets and real-time man-in-the-loop control. After capture, EDDE drags debris down and releases it and the net into a short-lived orbit safely below ISS, or can take it to a storage/recycling facility. EDDE can also sling debris into controlled reentry, or can include an adjustable drag device with the net before release, to allow later adjustment of payload reentry location. A dozen 100-kg EDDE vehicles could remove nearly all 2166 tons of LEO orbital debris in 7 years. EDDE enables and justifies a shift in focus, from simply reducing the rate of debris growth to active wholesale removal of all large debris objects in LEO. Copyright 2010 by Jerome Pearson.

Star Co. | Date: 2012-04-11

To provide an electrical conduction mechanism which prevents dust or the like from adhering to the inside of an electrical-conduction portion main body (11), so that electrical conduction efficiency cannot be reduced. The electrical conduction mechanism (1) comprises an electrical-conduction portion main body (11) in the center of which a first through-hole(12) to be inserted through by a shaft (22) is formed and in which a second through-hole (13) communicating with the first through-hole (12) is formed in a direction perpendicular to a direction in which the first through-hole is formed; and an electrical-conduction element (15) disposed in the second through-hole (13). The electrical-conduction element (1) is configured to include an electrical-conduction chip (16) abutting on the shaft (22), and a coil spring (17) biasing the electrical-conduction chip (16) toward the shaft (22), so that current is supplied to the shaft (22) through the electrical-conduction chip (16) to conduct electricity to the bit (25).

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