Conceptual Design and Analysis of Space Tether Transportation System With Electrodynamic Propulsion
Abstract. Tether transportation system can form the infrastructure for a reusable low cost space transportation architecture and can be used to carry frequent traffic between orbits. The Tether transportation facility would be sized for launch on a single large rocket vehicle to its operational orbit. This system will utilize electrodynamic tether propulsion to restore its orbit after each payload boost operation. Several technical challenges must be resolved to enable this systems to be fielded, including development of rapid rendezvous and capture capabilities and techniques for building and controlling the tether facilities. This research is applied modeling of tether dynamics, orbital mechanics, electrodynamics, and other relevant physics, to verify the orbital design of the system and investigate methods for performing electrodynamic re-boost of the platform. Using comparison for differing payload capacities of each vehicle and the dependence of launch pricing upon business factors, these research indicates that a reusable tether boost facility could enable commercial customers to reduce their launch costs by reduction of recurring costs.
Frisbee, R.H. (2003) “Advanced space propulsion for the 21st century”. AIAA J. Propuls. Power,
Tethers in Space. (2010) AIAA Aerospace America Magazine, December; pp. 59–64.
Lorenzini, E.C.; Bortolami, S.B. (1996) “Control and flight performance of tethered satellite small expendable deployment system-II”. AIAA J. Guid. Control Dyn. 19, 1148–1156.  Menon, C. (2007) “Design and testing of a space mechanism for tether deployment”. AIAA J. Spacecr. Rocket. 44, 927–939.
Kruijff, M.; van der Heide, E.J. (2009) “Data analysis of a tethered SpaceMail experiment”. AIAA J. Spacecr. Rocket., 46, 1272–1287
Hoyt, R.P. (2000) “Design and simulation of a tether boost facility for LEO to GTO transports”. Available online: http://www.tethers.com/papers/ MXER Space.
Williams, P. (2010) “Tether capture and momentum exchange from hyperbolic orbits”. AIAA J. Spacecr Rockets, 47, 205–209.
Hoyt, R.P. (2000) “Cislunar tether transport system”. J. Spacecr. Rocket. 37, 177–186.
Takeuchi, N.; Natori, M.C.; Okuizumi, N. (2003) “Fundamental strategies for control of a tethered system in elliptical orbits. AIAA J. Spacecr. Rocket. 40, 119–125.
Hoyt, R.P., Slostad,J.T., Frank, S.S., (2003) ”A Modular Momentum-Exchange/ Electrodynamic-Reboost Tether System Architecture”, AIAA Paper -5214, 39th Joint Propulsion Conference, Huntsville, AL, July 2003.
Kirk F. Sorensen, (2001) “Conceptual Design and Analysis of an MXER Tether Boost Station”, AIAA -3915
Nizhnik, O. (2012) “A low-cost launch assistance system for orbital launch vehicles”. Int. J. Aerosp. Eng.
Guowei Zhao, Liang Sun and Hai Huang,(2014) “Thrust control of tethered satellite with a short constant tether in orbital maneuvering”, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering published online 4 February