Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Sail Modules for Use with “Space Tugs”

Version 1 : Received: 28 February 2018 / Approved: 1 March 2018 / Online: 1 March 2018 (16:51:32 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Dalla Vedova, F.; Morin, P.; Roux, T.; Brombin, R.; Piccinini, A.; Ramsden, N. Interfacing Sail Modules for Use with “Space Tugs”. Aerospace 2018, 5, 48. Dalla Vedova, F.; Morin, P.; Roux, T.; Brombin, R.; Piccinini, A.; Ramsden, N. Interfacing Sail Modules for Use with “Space Tugs”. Aerospace 2018, 5, 48.

Journal reference: Aerospace 2018, 5, 48
DOI: 10.3390/aerospace5020048

Abstract

The paper introduces and describes the recent and still ongoing development activities performed in Luxembourg for In-Orbit Attach Mechanisms for (Drag) Sails Modules to be operated from Space Tugs. After some preparatory work aiming at understanding the possible operational aspects, three designs have been completed for their 3D (Metal and Plastic) Printing. The Plastic-printed prototype underwent a series of automated tests where a robotic arm, equipped with an advanced force sensor, replicated four docking scenarii in ideal and degraded modes. The observation of the forces and torques behaviors at and after impact allowed to characterize the typical patterns for the various contacts but also, to identify a type of impact potentially dramatic for the safety of the docking and its equipment: in case of off-axis approach, “point” contacts shall be avoided as they instantaneously transfer the total kinetic energy in a small area that could break.

Subject Areas

Spaceborne Sail; Drag Sail; Solar Sail; Space Tug; Docking; Berthing; Debris Mitigation; (Active) Debris Removal; Space Resources (Mining); Stopover Cycler

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