Analysis of the orbit lowering and attitude control performance of a magnetic coil-augmented gossamer sail
This thesis introduces the analysis of a novel device which, capitalizing on recent advances in gossamer solar sail technology, offers the possibility of propellantless satellite deorbiting and attitude control. By taking advantage of aerodynamic drag effects, a lightweight sail can rapidly deorbit a satellite. At the same time, the sail provides an ideal substrate for a large area magnetic torque coil for attitude control. Through the use of orbit propagation software, the performance of an implementation of this "MagSail" on a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) small satellite is simulated. The analysis is set forth in three parts. First the orbit decay profile of the satellite under the effects of atmospheric drag is presented. The results are interpreted for various initial orbits. Next, the actual torque generation of the MagSail is analyzed. Emphasis is placed on how various design parameters change the magnetic moment of the sail. Finally, a six degree of freedom simulation, combining both orbit propagation and PD attitude control demonstrates a possible implementation of the sail's attitude control capabilities. The work presented in this thesis provides an in-depth look at the deorbiting performance of large-area, low-mass LEO satellites. This research provides a theoretical framework for the development of compact, cost-effective propellantless propulsion and space debris mitigation systems.
This item is only available in print in the UCF Libraries. If this is your thesis or dissertation, you can help us make it available online for use by researchers around the world by downloading and filling out the Internet Distribution Consent Agreement. You may also contact the project coordinator Kerri Bottorff for more information.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science;Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Robinson, John, "Analysis of the orbit lowering and attitude control performance of a magnetic coil-augmented gossamer sail" (2009). HIM 1990-2015. 880.