On this planet, we need services in every aspect of our life. This could be for example maintenance service for our cars, or regular repairment service for our houses. And, of course, the satellites surrounding our planet also need service: they need to be re-fueled when the fuel is gone and the non-functioning components need to be replaced with new ones. The technology to provide these services is called On-Orbit Service (OOS).
The most famous example of OOS is the correction of the flawed main mirror of the Hubble Space Telescope by astronauts onboard the space shuttle, shortly after the telescope was deployed in 1990. Another interesting application of the OOS technology is the Phoenix concept, which aims to re-use the functional components of non-functioning satellites to assemble a new satellite in orbit by making use of space robotics.
At Space Systems Engineering, we are working on a new application of the OOS technology, called Active Debris Removal (ADR). Our objective is to explore the possibilities for safely removing part of the roughly 200 million items of debris surrounding the Earth, in order to protect our space assets and, more importantly, the space environment for our future. One of the most promising debris capturing approaches of ADR is a tethered-net, which has the capability to capture a tumbling piece of debris by deploying a flexible net (similar to a fishing net). Hereafter, the debris is dragged into the atmosphere to burn up, using a tether that is linked with the net.
One of our projects on ADR is the dynamic characterization of the tethered-net. To achieve this, we developed various mathematical models of tether deployment and verified them through the results of parabolic flight. Now we are looking forward to an in-orbit verification of our models!
Cervone, B. Zandbergen, D.C. Guerrieri, M. de Athayde Costa e Silva, I. Krusharev, H. van Zeijl, 2016, “Green Micro-Resistojet Research at Delft University of Technology: New Options for Cubesat Propulsion”, CEAS Space Journal
D.C. Guerrieri, A. Cervone, E. Gill, 2016, “Analysis of Non-Isothermal Rarefied Gas Flow in Diverging Microchannels for Low Pressure Micro-Resistojets”, ASME Journal of Heat Transfer
Cervone, A. Mancas, B. Zandbergen, 2015, “Conceptual Design of a Low-Pressure Micro-Resistojet Based on a Sublimating Solid Propellant”, Acta Astronautica
T. van Wees, C. Hanselaar, E. Jansen, I. Granero, A. Cervone, B. Zandbergen, H. van Zeijl, 2016, “Design, Fabrication, Testing and Modeling of a Vaporizing Liquid Micro-Propulsion System”, ESA Space Propulsion Conference
M. de Athayde Costa e Silva, D.C. Guerrieri, A. Cervone, 2016, “State Space Modelling of Fluid Flow for Thrust Control in MEMS-Based Micro-Propulsion”, ESA Space Propulsion Conference
D.C. Guerrieri, M. de Athayde Costa e Silva, B. Zandbergen, A. Cervone, 2016, “Heater Chip with Different Microchannels Geometries for a Low Pressure Free Molecular Micro-Resistojet”, ESA Space Propulsion Conference
M. de Athayde Costa e Silva, D.C. Guerrieri, A. Cervone, 2015, “Investigation of Innovative Thrust-Vector Control Techniques for Micro Propulsion Systems”, IAF 66th International Astronautical Congress
D.C. Guerrieri, M. de Athayde Costa e Silva, B. Zandbergen, A. Cervone, 2015,“Development of a Low Pressure Free Molecular Micro-Resistojet for Cubesat Applications”,IAF 66th International Astronautical Congress
J.J. Preijde, A. Cervone, 2015, “Design and Modelling of a New Concept of Solar Thermal Propulsion & Power System for Small Satellites: Feasibility and Perspectives”, IAF 66thInternational Astronautical Congress
C. Wang, B. Zandbergen, A. Cervone, J. Chu, 2015, “Numerical Studies on Performance of Free Molecule Micro-Resistojet with Ice Propellant”, 6th European Conference for Aeronautics and Space Sciences (EUCASS)
Cervone, A. Deeb, T. van Wees, E. Jansen, P. Sundaramoorthy, J. Chu, B. Zandbergen, 2015, “A Micro-Propulsion Subsystem to Enable Formation Flying on the DelFFi Mission”, 8thInternational Workshop on Satellite Constellations and Formation Flying
R. Poyck, A. Cervone, B. Zandbergen, H.W. van Zeijl, I. Krusharev, Q. Bellini, 2014, “A Water-Fed Micro-Resistojet for the DelFFi Formation Flying Mission”, IAF 65th International Astronautical Congress
Krusharev, R. Poyck, Q. Bellini, B. Zandbergen, A. Cervone, 2014, “Cubesat Micro-Propulsion Systems for Extending the Capabilities of Academic Projects”, IAF 65thInternational Astronautical Congress
R. Bijster, B. Zandbergen, 2014, “Integration of a Variable Turn-Density Coil Actuator in a Micropropulsion Thrust Stand”, ESA Space Propulsion Conference
B. Zandbergen, 2013, “Micropropulsion systems for Cubesats”, Von Karman Institute for fluid dynamics
Cervone, B. Zandbergen, J. Guo, E. Gill, W. Wieling, F. Tata Nardini, C. Schuurbiers, 2012,“Application of an Advanced Micro-Propulsion System to the DelFFi Formation-Flying Demonstration Within the QB50 Mission”, IAF 63rd International Astronautical Congress