Accurate Aerodynamic Model of Membranes in Free-Molecular Flow for Deorbit Device Design

  • FUNABIKI Nobuhiro
    Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The University of Tokyo
  • IKARI Satoshi
    Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The University of Tokyo
  • ISHIKAWA Akihiro
    Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The University of Tokyo
  • FUNASE Ryu
    Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The University of Tokyo
  • NAKASUKA Shinichi
    Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The University of Tokyo

Abstract

<p>This paper proposes an accurate aerodynamic model for membrane structures in free-molecular flow that allows the calculation of torque and force exerted on them, and which can be used for precise analysis of the attitudes and orbital dynamics of the structures. Recently, various types of deployable thin membrane structures attached to satellites for deorbit purposes have been developed and demonstrated on low-Earth orbits (LEOs), and their attitude dynamics have also been investigated. However, in early studies, deorbit sails were modeled as simple flat plates because there were no precise models for membranes that could express wrinkles, billowing, and asymmetric shapes. In this paper, a calculation method using tensor expressions of aerodynamic disturbance is proposed for the design of deorbit devices using high-fidelity membrane models. The proposed method is tested in the attitude stability analysis of membranes on LEOs, and the results show that the asymmetric shapes of the membranes affect their attitude stability.</p>

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