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nro6_200209 - Electromagnetic Formation Flight Progress...

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Electromagnetic Formation Flight Progress Report: September 2002 Submitted to: Lt. Col. John Comtois Technical Scientific Officer National Reconnaissance Office Contract Number: NRO-000-02-C0387-CLIN0001 MIT WBS Element: 6893087 Submitted by: Prof. David W. Miller Space Systems Laboratory Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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1 Introduction 1.1 Description of the Effort The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Space Systems Lab (MIT SSL) and the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (ATC) are collaborating to explore the potential for an Electro-Magnetic Formation Flight (EMFF) system applicable to Earth-orbiting satellites flying in close formation. 1.2 Progress Overview At MIT, work on EMFF has been pursued on two fronts: the MIT conceive, design, implement and operate (CDIO) class, and the MIT SSL research group, as described in the April 2002 progress report. Recent work in the MIT SSL has focused on trade analyses for the sizing and design of the electromagnets that will be used as actuators in Earth-orbiting EMFF applications. The first trade determines the benefits of using electromagnets with or without ferromagnetic cores. The second analysis optimizes the mission efficiency of a three-spacecraft EMFF cluster configured collinearly. The following report summarizes these trades and the progress made in the sizing and design of an electromagnetic actuation system for EMFF control. 2 Coil vs. Core Before optimizing the system size for EMFF spacecraft, determining the effect of magnetizable cores is the first design step. Spacecraft can be designed with either electromagnetic coils only, or coils wrapped around paramagnetic or ferromagnetic cores. Magnetizable cores can directly improve the electromagnetic attractive force; however, EMFF
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