An aerodynamic de-orbiting system device for small satellites
The problem of space debris formation in low Earth orbits has become one of the most urgent and significant problems in the last few years. Among the proposed methods for solving this problem, there are aerodynamic means for de-orbiting, which spacecraft are equipped with before launch. Such de-orbiting systems use natural external forces to reduce the ballistic life and do not require large onboard energy reserves, while their use for small satellite has not been thoroughly studied. In this paper, we consider the possibility of using an aerodynamic de-orbiting system for small satellites that are not equipped with a propulsion system. The study introduces a reliable design of the aerodynamic system, whose main elements are an aerodynamic device, i.e. an inflatable balloon, a storage subsystem, an inflation subsystem, i.e. a gas generator, and a control subsystem of the de-orbiting system. The principle and algorithm of operation of the described system elements are considered in detail. Since the main requirement for the de-orbiting system is the minimum mass of the structure, various options for laying the aerodynamic device into the storage container are considered and the most optimal one is selected. The aerodynamic de-orbiting system for small satellite will provide descent into the dense layers of the atmosphere, where the spacecraft will burn out during natural processes.
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