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Active Debris Removal and Spacecraft Servicing


Added Power with Control


Other applications of HTS magnets in space technology

Non-Contact Manipulation

Debris removal and satellite servicing missions must cope with the fact that many of their targets, having expended their propellant, will be “uncooperative” and likely rotating in one or more axes. This makes capture using purely contact-based methods such as a robotic arm extremely challenging to implement in practice, and not feasible beyond a threshold rotation rate.

The most frequently proposed solutions to this problem require the chaser spacecraft to expend a large quantity of propellant to rotation match with the target , or implement a "forced" intervention method such as a deployable net which increases the risk of damage to both the chaser and the target – creating more orbital debris in the process.

AstroMagnetic Systems have designed a non-contact solution using High Temperature Superconducting Magnets that slows down a targets rotational velocity at a safe distance, removing the need for high propellant consumption rotation-matching manoeuvres, reducing mission complexity for the operator, and reducing the risk of creating further orbital debris

Electric Propulsion

Robust high temperature superconducting electromagnets are being manufactured for plasma confinement in nuclear fusion, and AstroMagnetic Systems is transferring this technology into the space sector.

The thrust and Isp of electric propulsion systems can be considerably improved with access to the magnetic fields in the Tesla range that superconducting magnets can support.

Initial research and design has already been conducted in collaboration with Magdrive, which has confirmed the potential of High Temperature Superconducting magnets to significantly increase its efficiency of their electric propulsion system.

Other Appplications

Other potential applications for High Temperature Superconducting magnets include:

  • Attitude Control

  • Radiation Shielding

  • Energy Storage

  • Magnetic Docking

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