L’un des principaux facteurs qui contribuent à l’augmentation des débris spatiaux est l’augmentation du nombre de lancements de petits satellites Lorsque ces satellites deviennent dysfonctionnels ou atteignent leur objectif, they are often left as is in their sockets, which results in space debris and is potentially dangerous.
Many solutions to this problem have been proposed, involving capture and disposal of debris But a better solution would be to create less debris in the first place This may be possible if the satellites are equipped with self-destruct technology when they have achieved their objective ESA recently reported that an iodine propellant system was placed to adjust the orbit of a small satellite
The idea here that when a small satellite is no longer needed, it can destroy itself by using a thruster to change its orbit towards the atmosphere by burning it to ashes With this method, the satellite will not leave any debris in its old orbit
The new technology is developed by a France-based company called ThrustMe The company uses iodine as a propellant, which is very unusual for propellants The reason is that iodine is cheaper than other propellants and is not toxic in nature, which makes the whole process much easier
“When heated, it turns into gas without passing through a liquid phase, which makes it ideal for a simple propulsion system”, ESA explained “It is also denser than traditional thrusters, it therefore occupies smaller volumes on board the satellite”
The first satellite to incorporate this technology was the SpaceTy Beihangkongshi-1, which is a telecommunications nanosate It took off in November last year from China The new thruster system was successfully tested recently and it was then used to change the orbit of the satellite We could see more of these systems used on small satellites at relatively less cost, allowing them to self-destruct when their services are no longer needed.
Artificial satellite, European Space Agency, iodine, geocentric orbit
News – United States – ESA uses iodine propellant system on small satellites to reduce space debris
Associated title :
– ESA using activated iodine propellant system Small satellites to reduce space debris
– Satellite used iodine booster to change orbit for the first time
– Iodine is used to propel a satellite into space