Spent satellites in orbit will teach to generate electricity to combat space debris

Today, there are more than 750 thousand objects of space debris in Earth’s orbit with a diameter of more than 1

cm, moving at a speed of more than 28 thousand km/h. These are mainly various remains of rockets or shuttles - ranging from huge upper stages to small bolts and nuts.

To start the fight against space junk, scientistsoffer different uses for decommissioned satellites. One of the ideas is to equip the apparatuses with ribbons several kilometers long, 2 cm wide and 50 microns thick - thinner than a human hair. The tape must be covered with a thermal electronic material that will emit electrons when heated by sunlight.

Before the mission of the satellite is completed,the machine will unfold the tape. Due to the phenomenon known as the Lorentz force (defined as the force exerted by the magnetic field on a moving electric charge), this tape will generate electricity. This current, in turn, will power the satellite’s onboard electric motors to push space debris from orbit.

Previously, engineers from the European SpaceThe Agency (ESA) conducted several controlled explosions of lithium-ion batteries that are installed on satellites. The aim of the project is to assess the possible consequences of the explosion of batteries in orbit and in the future to reduce the amount of space debris on it.