[amsat-bb] Re: Could we raise orbit thru magnetorque?
G0MRF at aol.com
Thu Feb 22 01:57:52 PST 2007
I think we have all had fun looking at ways to raise an orbit and the answer
seems to be, from the basic physics, that you will exert an extremely small
force the effectiveness of which is dependant on the distance between the
poles and the strength of the magnet, and some other things too
However, to put this into perspective...........AO-51, which we all know and
love, uses a similar principle for attitude stabilisation. Instead of
repelling the space craft into outer space the magnet on board causes the
spacecraft to rotate one turn per orbit. This ensures that over the northen 'pole'
the antenna end of the spacecraft points straight down. Over the southern pole
the antennas point in the other direction. (sorry southern hemisphere)
- for those of us living between 50N and 50S it also allows us to predict
whether we will get better signals (particually on 2.4G) as the spacecraft
approaches or moves away from us. By knowing the attitude we know if the antennas
are pointing towards us or not.
Of course, what does not happen with AO-51 is that force of attraction from
its magnet does not cause any measurable deteroration in the orbit. i.e. AO-51
does not show any tendancy to dramtically spiral down and crash into the
why? well imagine the forces involved.
1) you have the kinetic energy of a 20kg (?) spacecraft travelling at
18,000MPH. That's a lot of energy. - difficult to imagine....OK Just imagine 20kg
hitting the side of your house at that speed....Yes, thats a lot of energy!
2) The force of a magnet with the poles 1 foot apart 1.5 million feet from
Not sure if that helps. But it did make me understand how something with so
much energy due to its velocity can be easily rotated on its own axis by a
magnet, but not have its direction of motion changed by a that magnet.
In a message dated 22/02/2007 07:32:52 GMT Standard Time, ojwanga2 at asme.org
The craft could push-off the magnetic field of the planet, using it as a
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