Clark School
This Site umd.edu

Research Within Coder

An Example Research Entry
Location:
School, laboratory or building
Investigator:
Mr. John Investigator
Duration:
This is the period of performance
TRL:
This is the technology readiness level

This is a sample entry in the modeling category of research within CODER.


Analysis of Proposed Orbit-Base Debris Remediation Systems
Location:
UMD Space Power and Propulsion Laboratory
Investigator:
Dr. Raymond Sedwick, Mr. Matthew Marcus
Duration:
2013 - present
TRL:
2 - Physics-based simulation

Many different methods have been proposed to address the issue of the growing orbital debris population.  Impacts with large debris objects (i.e. spent upper stages, defunct, intact satellites) are of particular concern, since a collision with one of these objects could produce many small objects, increasing the likelihood of further collisions.  This project is developing a comparison of proposed orbital technologies for removing large, intact objects from low Earth orbit.   Software is being developed to design spacecraft to perform debris removal, taking into account the debris removal method used, the propulsion systems used, and the mission profile, with special attention given to the cost of such missions, and the risk they pose to active satellites and human life.


Computer image of spent upper stage
Nulling Debris Rotation with Laser Ablation
Investigator:
Dr. Raymond Sedwick, Mr. Rubbel Kumar
Duration:
2013 - 2014
TRL:
2 - Physics-based simulation

One of the many challenges associated with the remediation of large debris objects is capture in the presence of redidual angular momentum.  This research looks at the possibility of zeroing the residual rotation of such objects using laser ablation from several meters away from the object before attempting capture.  The advantage of such an approach is not requiring any mass consumables.  Simulations have been conducted that account for laser characteristics and spot size on the ablation process, accessibility, targeting and optimization of the ablationpoints and they dynamics of 3D rotation.  Results show that reduction of rotation rates to below acceptable capture rates can be achieved within hours or days, depending on the initial angular momentum of the object.


SHARC Image
Space Hazard Ablation Response Characterization (SHARC)
Location:
UMD Space Power and Propulsion Laboratory
Investigator:
Dr. Raymond Sedwick, Mr. Eric Smith, Mr. Joshua Sloane
Duration:
July 2012 - present
TRL:
3 - Experimental critical function

Laser propulsion is the process of removing material from the surface of a solid or fluid using a laser to generate thrust. Using a short pulse duration laser this is achieved via ablation, a non-thermal process where a solid material is converted to a directed plasma plume. At SHARC, a ps-pulsed 1064nm laser is used to ablate materials in vacuum. Using a custom designed time-of-flight spectrometer, the velocity, charge and mass distribution of the ions and nanoparticles in the plume are determined. A thrust stand is used for a direct force measurement. Laser ablation has applications in debris removal and asteroid mitigation, and materials to be tested include aluminum and rocky materials. In addition, the ablation plume can be used to simulate ion and nanoparticle bombardment in the space environment.