Precession and circularization of elliptical space-tether motionIn this paper, we present a simplified analytic model for predicting motion of long space tethers. The perturbation model developed here addresses skip rope motion, where each end of the tether is held in place and the middle of the tether swings with a motion similar to that of a child's skip rope. If the motion of the tether midpoint is elliptical rather than circular, precession of the ellipse complicates the procedures required to damp this motion. The simplified analytic model developed in this paper parametrically predicts the precession of elliptical skip rope motion. Furthermore, the model shows that elliptic skip rope motion will circularize when damping is present in the longitudinal direction. Compared with high-fidelity simulation results, this simplified model provides excellent predictions of these phenomena.
Chapel, Jim D. (Martin Marietta Astronautics Group Denver, CO, United States)
Grosserode, Patrick (Orbital Sciences Corp. Chandler, AZ, United States)
August 16, 2013
January 1, 1993
Publication: In: AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference, Monterey, CA, Aug. 9-11, 1993, Technical Papers. Pt. 1 (A93-51301 22-63)
Publisher: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics