SCIENCE CHINA Information Sciences, Volume 61, Issue 2: 022201(2018) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-017-9219-1

Parameter influence on electron collectionefficiency of a bare electrodynamic tether

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  • ReceivedApr 28, 2017
  • AcceptedJul 5, 2017
  • PublishedDec 22, 2017


This study develops a coupled multiphysics finite element method forthe dynamic analysis of a bare flexible electrodynamic tether. Contrary tothe existing methods, the new method discretizes and solves the orbitalmotion limited equation and the dynamic equation of an elastic flexibletether simultaneously. First, the new method is verified via comparison withthe existing methods in a straight tether situation. Second, the number oftether elements, tether bending deformation, and two design parameters atthe cathodic end affecting the electrical current are investigated. It isdetermined that the tether bending deformation and the two parameters i.e.,the impedance $Z_{T}$ and $\varPhi_{\rm~PW}$ have asignificant impact on the electron collection efficiency of anelectrodynamic tether system. The results indicate that the proposed methodshould be applied in the refined mission analysis.


This work was supported by Discovery Grant and Discovery Accelerate Supplement Grant of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


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