Jovian Capture of a Spacecraft with a Self-Balanced Electrodynamic Bare Tether Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2014

start page

  • 1401

end page

  • 1412


  • 5


  • 51

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-4650

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1533-6794


  • This paper proposes and analyzes the use of a nonrotating tethered system for a direct capture in Jovian orbit using the electrodynamic force generated along the cable. A detailed dynamical model is developed showing a strong gravitational and electrodynamic coupling between the center of mass and the attitude motions. This paper shows the feasibility of a direct capture in Jovian orbit of a rigid tethered system preventing the tether from rotating. Additional mechanical-thermal requirements are explored, and preliminary operational limits are defined to complete the maneuver. In particular, to ensure that the system remains nonrotating, a nominal attitude profile for a self-balanced electrodynamic tether is proposed, as well as a simple feedback control.


  • gravitational interactions; jupiter; power