A Deformation Model of Flexible, High Area-To-Mass Ratio Debris for Accurate Propagation under Perturbation

Channumsin, S., Ceriotti, M. and Radice, G. (2014) A Deformation Model of Flexible, High Area-To-Mass Ratio Debris for Accurate Propagation under Perturbation. In: 65th International Astronautical Congress, Toronto, ON, Canada, 29 Sep - 3 Oct 2014,

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Publisher's URL: http://www.iafastro.org/events/iac/iac-2014/


A new type of space debris was recently discovered by Schildknecht in near -geosynchronous o r b i t (GEO). These objects were later identified as exhibiting properties associated with high area-to-mass ratio (HAMR) objects. According to their brightness magnitudes (light curve), shapes, high rotation rates and composition properties (albedo, amount of specular and diffuse reflection, colour, etc), it is thought that these objects are multi-layer insulation (MLI). Observations have shown that this debris type is very sensitive to environmental disturbances, particularly solar radiation pressure, due to the fact that their shapes are easily deformed leading to changes in the AMR. This paper proposes a simple yet effective model of the thin, deformable membrane based on a multi-body dynamics. The membrane is modelled as a series of flat plates, connected through flexible joints, representing the flexibility of the membrane itself. The mass of the membrane, albeit low, is taken into account with lump masses in the joints. The dynamic equations for the masses, including the constraints defined by the connecting flat plates, are derived using fundamental Newtonian mechanics. The physical properties of the objects required by the model (membrane density, reflectivity, composition, etc.), are assumed to be those of multi-layer insulation. This flexible membrane model is then propagated together with classical orbital and attitude equations of motion near a GEO to predict the orbital evolution under the perturbations of solar radiation pressure, Earth gravity field, third bodies (Sun and the Moon) and self-shadowing from deformation. These results are then compared to a rigid body model.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Radice, Dr Gianmarco and Ceriotti, Dr Matteo
Authors: Channumsin, S., Ceriotti, M., and Radice, G.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Aerospace Sciences
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy

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