Research Summaries

Back Retractable Drag Device: Design and Development

Fiscal Year 2021
Division Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Science
Department Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Investigator(s) Lan, Wenschel D.
Rhatigan, Jennifer L.
Sponsor Department of Defense Space (DoD)
Summary A significant fuel reserve must be maintained throughout the useful life of those spacecraft requiring an end-of-life de-orbit burn. We seek to develop drag devices that would be deployed at the spacecraft end-of-life for decay to the final burn interface. In this proposal, the drag element would then be retracted, so that targeted re-entry as conventionally practiced could be employed. While simple drag technology is being explored with CubeSats, we have shown advantages for a larger class of satellites that may use targeted re-entry (Alsup et al., 2019). Indeed, a scale model of such was recently developed and tested in our lab by an inbound student (Veerbeck 2019) and a full scale device is underway as a follow-on thesis project (Nichols 2020).
Here we propose to develop a new mechanism that would deploy and retract a drag device. This would enable fuel offset for the orbit-lowering phase of a targeted re-entry. The device would be developed as a ground unit and tested in our labs.
Keywords
Publications Publications, theses (not shown) and data repositories will be added to the portal record when information is available in FAIRS and brought back to the portal
Data Publications, theses (not shown) and data repositories will be added to the portal record when information is available in FAIRS and brought back to the portal