Determination of the force transmitted by an ion thruster plasma plume to an orbital object Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2016

start page

  • 241

end page

  • 251


  • 119

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0094-5765

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-2030


  • An approach to determine the force transmitted by the plasma plume of an ion thruster to an orbital object immersed in it using its central projection on a selected plane is proposed. A photo camera is used to obtain the image of the object central projection. The algorithms for the calculation of the transmission of momentum by the impacting ion beam are developed including the determination of the object contour and the correction of the error due to a camera offset from the ion beam axis, and the computation of the fraction of the ion beam that impinges on the object surface.


  • Aeronautics
  • Physics


  • electric propulsion; plasma plume; contactiess; space debris; active debris removal; ion beam shepherd; beam shepherd