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MSc student completes successful modelling magnetic fields for ADR Detumbling

Anna carried out an individual research project as part of her MSc in Astronautics & Space Engineering at Cranfield University. The project was defined by AstroMagnetic Systems and supervised by their lead technical staff. Detumbling space debris is an important part of the rendezvous and capture process for active debris removal, and must be done at low risk to the Chaser spacecraft while being economical with the limited propellant resources available. Anna critically reviewed several non-contact space debris detumbling techniques. Potential target objects were selected and a custom-coded finite element approach was implemented to compute the magnetic interaction or 'magnetic tensor' of the target spacecraft with a chaser remotely applying a strong magnetic field. The model results were compared with solutions in literature for a range of target geometries which gave confidence in the modelling approach.
The project provided Astromagnetic Systems with valuable insight into the application of fundamental theory and informed the in-house mission simulation work which now defines the HTS magnet system for a space based demonstration. We were very pleased with Anna's contribution. Anna is now working as an AIV engineer for Astroscale, and said about the experience of working with AMS:

"I had such a great time working with Adam and Lolan to develop some code to characterise debris objects as targets for magnetic detumbling. Their enthusiasm for and experience in space systems engineering, as well as their connections across the industry, were really beneficial in progressing my MSc project. Detumbling space debris is one of the biggest challenges facing active debris removal efforts; their interest in tackling this using HTS magnets is a really exciting proposition! I'm very interested to see what AMS goes on to do."

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