Aerospace Engineering

Technologies for designing orbits and orbital structures of satellite systems

A new important direction is the development of special methods for optimizing the orbital construction of a promising space system for maintaining spacecraft, the use of which will prolong the active life of spacecraft in orbits. New methods are being developed to optimize orbital maneuvering in order to solve various target tasks related to the inspection (overflight) of spacecraft, the prediction of dangerous proximity of spacecraft to lumps of space debris, the performance of various dynamic operations in orbits, including the use of tethered orbital systems and the removal of lumps of space debris. A distinctive feature of these methods is the high (compared to traditional methods) speed of the calculations, achieved, under otherwise equal conditions, through the use of special numerical-analytical algorithms to predict the motion of spacecraft and cataloged lumps of space debris. The development of such methods can significantly change the appearance of ground-based and on-board spacecraft control systems, improving their characteristics both in terms of solving traditional control problems and allowing successfully solving new problems of autonomous control of spacecraft when performing various dynamic operations in orbits.

Space robotic and intelligence control systems for spacecraft and external manipulators

The development of universal robonauts for the space station and for the implementation of interplanetary missions is an important trend in the development of aerospace technology. The intermediate stage of creating universal robonauts is the creation of robots-helpers of the astronaut. These robots should automatically perform some dangerous work performed by humans today, for example, going out from the station into open space. The control systems of universal robots-helpers of the astronaut should provide the ability to solve various control tasks in an automatic mode. The implementation of such systems is possible only in the class of intelligent control systems with a large number of condition operators with the ability to solve logical problems for accepting or choosing control conditions and achieving goals. Further development of universal multifunctional robots will allow the astronaut to be replaced completely on board of the space station.

Technologies for protecting elements of a spacecraft from the effects of space factors to reduce the intensity of the processes of destruction and gas evolution of non-metallic materials

Under the influence of various space factors (VSF) on non-metallic materials, their destruction occurs. The speed and mechanisms depend on the parameters of the SF exposure and the material itself. The destruction can be bulky or it also can be superficial (i.e. erosion). In any case, the degradation products are carried away from the surface or from the volume of the material into the space around the spacecraft (SC). The negative consequences of these processes are, firstly, a change in the properties of the parts, and secondly, the formation of a dust-gas cloud around the spacecraft - its own external atmosphere (OIA). All this can lead to disruption of the operation of astronavigation devices, telecommunications, robotic and other systems. To prevent such phenomena, various ways are used: the use of metal hulls and the minimum use of non-metallic materials on the surface of a spacecraft (the traditional way), testing materials in accordance with the requirements of all-Union State Standard R50109-92 “Non-metallic materials. Test method for mass loss and the content of volatile condensable substances under vacuum thermal effects." In the first case, there is a significant increase in the weight and size characteristics of the units and instruments. In the second case, there is a large amount of non-metallic materials that do not meet the requirements of this standard, for which a full replacement cannot be found. In order to be able to use non-metallic materials, other methods of protection against the effects of VSF and reducing gassing are required. Firstly, given the fact that the process of gas evolution, as a rule, is exponential, it is advisable to carry out preliminary artificial outgassing of parts and assemblies, in which large particles of gas evolution are removed. Secondly, the use of protective thin coatings can reduce the effect of VSF on the material to slow down its destruction and prevent particles from escaping from the material into space. The combined use of these two methods is possible. To determine the optimal outgassing parameters, information is needed on the qualitative and quantitative composition of the particles, which can potentially become the product of gas evolution, the rate of destruction, and the mechanisms of particle transport in the material, depending on the exposure parameters. These data are needed to select the type, design and technology of applying protective coatings. With this in mind, the purpose of the research is the development of pilot technologies for preliminary degassing of components and parts of SC having non-metallic materials and working in open space, as well as methods of applying protective coatings on the surface of non-metallic materials that reduce the effect of VSF and are a barrier to the process of gas evolution.

Technologies for improving the reliability and radiation resistance of the element base of semiconductor electronics and semiconductor devices for thermal stabilization systems and power supply of spacecraft

Thermal stabilization of various systems and components of a modern spacecraft is a necessary condition for their optimal and proper functioning. Due to the fact that traditional passive systems can no longer provide the required temperature conditions, recently there has been an increasing interest in the use of thermoelectric thermal stabilization systems in space, which can operate in an unattended mode for a long service life, are easy to manage and have proven themselves in various areas of ground application. In 2018, the launch of an international orbital astrophysical observatory with X-ray detectors cooled by thermoelectric modules is planned. The use of thermoelectric converters in space is thermoelectric generators, which currently have almost no alternative when developing deep space. A limiting factor in the development of thermoelectric semiconductor devices (TSD) is the relatively low efficiency of currently used thermoelectric materials. At the present moment, a lot of research is being carried out to obtain new thermoelectric materials in laboratories with greater (twice) efficiency as compared with existing industrially produced materials, including through the use of nanotechnologies. The aim of the work in this area is to develop methods and means to ensure the reliability of thermoelectric semiconductor devices of ultralong operation for thermal stabilization and power supply systems of new generation spacecraft.

Dynamics and Control of Large Space Structures and Tethers

Orbital tether systems (TS) are new non-traditional space structures that allow one to perform tasks that are impossible, impractical or uneconomical to solve using existing means of space technology. The number of tasks that determine the promising directions for the use of space TS include: launching space objects into orbit and descending from orbit to Earth; performing interorbital transitions; convergence in space and transport services for space objects; sounding of the upper layers of the atmosphere and geodetic surveys at altitudes inaccessible to other types of aircraft (AC); creating artificial gravity and microgravity in space; testing and workout of AC moving along ballistic trajectories; maneuvering the AC along the ballistic trajectory without engaging the motor assembly; providing global radio communications and generating electricity in space; increase of safety of space flights, etc. A significant part of the study is expected to be devoted to the development of new methods for optimizing orbital maneuvering in order to solve various targets related to the inspection (overflight) of spacecraft, prediction of dangerous approaches of spacecraft with lump space debris, various dynamic operations in orbits, including the use of tether orbital system operations to remove lump space debris.