Advanced Particle-in-Cell (PIC) Tools for Simulation of Electrodynamic Tether Plasma Interactions

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX11CI14P
Agency Tracking Number: 100085
Amount: $99,603.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2011
Solitcitation Year: 2010
Solitcitation Topic Code: T3.01
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Tech-X Corporation
5621 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO, 80303-1379
Duns: 806486692
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Sudhakar Mahalingam
 Principal Investigator
 (303) 996-7257
Business Contact
 Leslie Rosczyk
Title: Business Official
Phone: (720) 974-1855
Research Institution
 Colorado State University
 Anita Montgomery
 6010 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO, 80523-5105
 () -
 Nonprofit college or university
Electrodynamic tethers are optimally suited for use in Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) to generate thrust or drag maneuver satellites. LEO region is polluted with space debris from the left over of rockets and abandoned satellites. It becomes important to clean them, i.e., de-orbit and ED tethers are promising for such applications. ED tethers are operating without propellants, so less polluting in our space and also cost-efficient. Tether powered satellites can operate in dual mode (thrust or power generation). Advanced PIC tools can perform self-consistent 2-D and 3-D tether simulations to study the plasma interactions and will improve the understanding of the self-induced magnetic field effects on the current collection ability of these ED tethers. These tools once validated using tether ribbon tape experiments can help NASA researchers to analyze various tether geometries in efforts to optimize tether design for space missions on a wide range of operating conditions.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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