Volume 1, 2009Progress in Propulsion Physics
|495 - 514
|Air-Breathing, Turbomachinery, and LAPCAT
|16 September 2011
A tethered upper stage for small launchers − preliminary analysis, design, and test
The use of mechanical tethers for momentum transfer is a space-proven concept and leads to many possible applications. One such application is launch-assist. By tethering a payload to a reaction mass and executing a controlled deployment and tether-cut, the momentum of the reaction mass can be sacrificed to obtain a boost for the payload. In this way, after a launcher has delivered its payload to a low elliptic orbit, a tether deployment can be used to circularize the payload and simultaneously de-orbit the spent stage. This paper discusses the results of the design study and hardware testing of the deployment.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2009