[amsat-bb] Re: Could we raise orbit thru magnetorque?
vk3jed at gmail.com
Wed Feb 21 12:19:15 PST 2007
At 05:55 AM 2/22/2007, Marc Vermeersch wrote:
>So why is the maglev principle (magnetic levitation)
>not applicable in space?
>Magnetic levitation applied to trains generates an upward force equal and
>opposite to the earth's gravitation.
Much larger (relative) difference in separation between the pole
pairs that are repelling each other. One pair (top of the track and
bottom of the train) are almost touching, the other ends of the
fields are much more widely separated.
In the case of a satellite around the Earth, the difference in
separation is almost zero (width of the satellite, compared to the
distance from the satellite to the Earth's magnetic poles). The
gradient of the Earth's magnetic field is quite small, even near the
magnetic poles. You could get a very small lift by orienting the
satellite correctly and turning on the magnetic field as it passes
over the poles, but the effect would be incredibly tiny, and holding
the orientation would take another system, to prevent the system
providing torque instead of thrust (if that uses fuel, then the
exercise is pointless ;) ), and if it's magnetic, it could nullify
the thrust from the magnetic thruster.
73 de VK3JED
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