Debris removal mechanism based on tethered nets

Michelle Lavagna, Roberto Armellin, Alessandro Bombelli, Riccardo Benvenuto, Riccardo Carta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


The space debris removal and generation containment in Earth orbits is a well-known and urgent issue to be faced to mainly preserve the safety of the current and future active space systems. From an active removal system design point of view, the more the general purpose it is the more cost effective would be. On the other side, the more general purpose it is, the less practically effective it may turn to be. In fact, a general purpose removal system design should intervene on objects completely different in configuration, materials and possibly in dimensions such as fragments, entire/parts-of dismissed satellites and third stages/fairing elements. Moreover, elements to be managed do not cooperate and have a complex, free, not completely known dynamics. The paper presents the design, characterization and test-bed setting up of a possible general purpose solution: a net, shut from an active satellite that embraces the debris element, closes around it and drag it to the disposal position in space thanks to a tethered connection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRobotics and Automation in Space (iSAIRAS 2012) International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (iSAIRAS 2012)
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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