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  • Study of a harpoon with a foam injection system for debris mitigation.

    Paper number



    Mr. Idriss Sisaid, Cranfield University, France



    Space debris such as dead satellites or used rocket stages orbiting our planet are becoming a huge problem that needs to be solved in order to avoid unexpected collisions in the future.
    One solution to mitigate that risk is to regularly deorbit major debris using a deorbiting spacecraft that would rendezvous and dock using a harpoon system before towing it towards a burn in the atmosphere.
    However this technology is a one-shot device and therefore several measures have to be undertaken to make sure the docking an the towing phases are properly done. 
    It is proposed to study in this paper, a hybrid system that is composed of a regular harpoon and a foam injection system.
    Once the harpoon is deployed in the debris, a large quantity of highly expansible foam is injected to strenghten the zone that will transmit the forces. 
    The presentation will study the configuration while giving advantages and limitations of such a technology.
    Abstract document


    Manuscript document