Scientists have proposed a new type of propulsion system for satellites in orbit

Spanish engineers and scientists are developing a new propulsion system that promises to solve aggravating problem of space debris. Researchers from the University of Madrid Carlos III, as well as the Madrid Polytechnic University have patented a new technology propulsion system for orbiting satellites, which feature is no need to use any kind of fuel and any other supplies.

Scientists have proposed a new type of propulsion system for satellites in orbit

The system is presented in the form of a special conductive aluminum tape a couple of kilometers in length and a width of a few centimeters, which will move the satellite as a tail. Scientists call it a "cosmic leash."

When you run a light and durable space ribbon will be minimized. Once the satellite is released into the desired orbit, the tape will unfold. When this happens, the belt can either convert electricity into thrust, or thrust into electricity. Spanish scientists behind this development, saying that it will be used in pairs.

The system is based on one of the features of the motion of electrons. The tape has a special coating having enhanced electron emission properties when exposed to sunlight and heat. These special features allow it to perform just two useful functions.

"This is a breakthrough technology because it allows you to convert the orbital energy into electrical energy and vice versa, with no use of any supplies," - said the head of the development of Gonzalo Sanchez Arriaga from the University of Madrid Carlos III.

As soon as the satellite will begin to lose altitude and closer to the Earth, the tape will begin to convert the force generated by gravity, into energy for spacecraft. Researchers believe that this technology could be useful for the International Space Station. Each year, the ISS have to burn quite a large amount of fuel to adjust its orbit. The tape, in turn, be able to generate additional electricity for the station as soon as it starts to decline. Then, energy can be used as a fuel substitute.

"In this tape, as well as energy that provides ISS solar panels, air resistance can be compensated without the use of fuel", - said Arriaga.

"In contrast to currently used propulsion technologies, our technology does not require propellant and uses the natural effects of the space environment, such as the geomagnetic field, the ionospheric plasma and solar radiation", - he added.

In the satellite with sufficient on-board power strip will run in reverse order. It will use electricity for propulsion for spacecraft. Especially useful it may be closer to the end of the working life of the latter. After all, so instead of having to leave the spacecraft in orbit in the form of another piece of debris, still has power satellites can be manually sent to the Earth's atmosphere, where it can safely be burned.

The basis of all electro-technology is the effect - the so-called Lorentz resistance. The details will not go, but Spanish researchers say that this effect can be observed, for example, watching for the magnet falling through a copper pipe. Videos can be viewed below.

Scientists have proposed a new type of propulsion system for satellites in orbit

Some space organizations have already expressed their interest in special electroforming tape. By the Spanish team of scientists asked experts from the US, Japan and Europe. The next step for Spanish professionals will be the actual prototyping.

"The hardest part for us is the production, because the tape must have very specific optical and electron emission properties", - says Gonzalo Sanchez Arriaga.

The Ministry of Economy and Industry of Spain has allocated a grant of the Spanish team for the development of the necessary materials for the system. Scientists have also sent a proposal for mutually beneficial cooperation in the consortium of the European Commission for the Development of Research and Technology (FET- Open).

"Cooperation within the framework of FET-Open project might be a fundamental, since in its course, we could collect and spend in future space missions tested the first fully functioning system, and develop a set of additional tools required to change the cosmic orbit devices based on this technology, "- said Sanchez Arriaga.