The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 135–156 | Cite as

Rapid Charged Geosynchronous Debris Perturbation Modeling of Electrodynamic Disturbances

  • Joseph HughesEmail author
  • Hanspeter Schaub


Charged space objects experience small perturbative torques and forces from their interaction with Earth’s magnetic field. These small perturbations can change the orbits of lightweight, uncontrolled debris objects dramatically even over short periods. This paper investigates the effects of the isolated Lorentz force, the effects of including or neglecting this and other electromagnetic perturbations in a full propagation, and then analyzes for which objects electromagnetic effects have the most impact. It is found that electromagnetic forces have a negligible impact on their own. However, if the center of charge is not collocated with the center of mass, electromagnetic torques are produced which do impact the attitude, and thus the position by affecting the direction and magnitude of the solar radiation pressure force. The objects for which electrostatic torques have the most influence are charged above the kilovolt level, have a difference between their center of mass and center of charge, have highly attitude-dependent cross-sectional area, and are not spinning stably about an axis of maximum inertia. Fully coupled numerical simulation illustrate the impact of electromagnetic disturbances through the solar radiation pressure coupling.


Electrostatics Perturbations HAMR 


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Copyright information

© American Astronautical Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.275 ECEE, 431 UCB, University of COBoulderUSA
  2. 2.321 ECNT, 431 UCB, University of COBoulderUSA

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