ISSN: 2949-401X

Ustinov A. N., Babuk V. A., Nizyaev A. A., Atamasov V. D., Kudinov A. A.

Abstract: Methods for the disposal of orbital debris by artificial plasma formation (APF) are discussed, which can be carried out both with the help of a special-purpose disposal spacecraft and by means of spacecraft self-disposal functions. It is proposed to use the aerodynamic drag of atmospheric traces to decelerate an artificially created plasma formation surrounding fragments of space debris. An increase in the aerodynamic drag of the disposed space debris created by gas-dust filling of voids between solid fragments of the debris cluster reduces the space debris existence time. Being subjected to ionization under the influence of cosmic radiation or laser irradiation produced from the CAU, the plasma formation “splices” the gas-dust environment with debris elements by electrostatic Coulomb forces. In the case of using a gas-dust cloud enveloping solid fragments of debris, physical processes are formed that lead to the creation of Coulomb interaction forces. The cloud of fine-dispersed formations (FDF), even before the meeting with the debris, will be subjected to ionization due to radiation emanating from outer space, or due to its additional scanning with a laser beam of sufficient power. In order to obtain a higher concentration of the FDF ionized medium, it is necessary to introduce easily ionized alkaline and alkaline-earth substances with a low ionization potential into its composition. At the same time, electrostatic Coulomb attractions become able to overcome the dissipating forces of the aerodynamic effects of traces of the Earth’s atmosphere, that is, to preserve the APF until its dense layers are reached, in which the thermal utilization of space debris is carried out. The features of a self-disposing spacecraft are the presence of transforming structures of hull elements. The transforming structures were developed at the design stage in order to significantly increase the total spacecraft midsection after the command for its disposal is activated. The spacecraft elements are then dispersed in a larger volume of the structural form of solid space debris. On the basis of the resulting pattern of space debris, an artificial plasma formation is formed, consisting of an easily ionized gas-dust medium injected by a special-purpose generator provided for at the design stage of the spacecraft, and solid space debris. In order to preserve in space and in time the maximum area of the total midsection of such an artificial formation in order to force aerodynamic drag of Earth’s atmospheric traces, the APF is put into rotational motion. This reduces the time of existence of orbital debris.

Keywords: artificial plasma formation, spacecraft, near-Earth outer space, complex technical system, own external atmosphere, fine-dispersed formation.

For citation: Ustinov A. N., Babuk V. A., Nizyaev A. A., Atamasov V. D., Kudinov A. A. Artificial plasma formation for the disposal of space debris in the dense layers of the earth’s atmosphere. Aerospace Engineering and Technology. 2023. Vol. 1. No. 2, pp. 145–157.