Efficient computation of current collection in bare electrodynamic tethers in and beyond OML regime Articles uri icon

publication date

  • November 2015


  • 6


  • 28

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0893-1321

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1943-5525


  • One key issue in the simulation of bare electrodynamic tethers (EDTs) is the accurate and fast computation of the collected current, an ambient dependent operation necessary to determine the Lorentz force for each time step. This paper introduces a novel semianalytical solution that allows researchers to compute the current distribution along the tether efficient and effectively under orbital-motion-limited (OML) and beyond OML conditions, i.e., if tether radius is greater than a certain ambient dependent threshold. The method reduces the original boundary value problem to a couple of nonlinear equations. If certain dimensionless variables are used, the beyond OML effect just makes the tether characteristic length L* larger and it is decoupled from the current determination problem. Avalidation of the results and a comparison of the performance in terms of the time consumed is provided, with respect to a previous ad hoc solution and a conventional shooting method.


  • Mechanical Engineering


  • orbits; boundary value problem