Document Type : Scientific extension


1 Ph.D. Student. Department of Aerospace Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor. Space Science and Technology Institute, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.

3 M.Sc. Student. Department of Aerospace Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.


The main purpose of this paper is to provide a regular design process of drag sail for deorbiting a satellite in LEO orbit concerning the mission requirements. In this regard, the design requirements and manufacturing considerations of the drag sail have been studied at first. The paper continued with different atmospheric models and the necessary equations for the initial design of the drag sail. Then, with the help of the Life-Time (LT) tool in STK software, the deorbiting time of several satellites with different mass to surface ratios from two initial altitudes of 700 and 800 km was obtained. In this calculation, three models of static and dynamic atmospheric density: Harris-Priester, Jacchia-Roberts, and MSISE2000, have been used. Usually, these data and pieces of information are using to design the suitable sail specifications (size, shape and, mass) to remove satellites from the Leo orbit. Finally, using the presented equations and provided diagrams, a drag sail is designed to deorbit a 20 kg satellite from an initial height of 800 km with a mass to surface ratio of 0.01 kg/m. The geometry of this sail is selected in a square shape and based on four beams. This geometry is chosen by compromising between the two elements of reliability and flexibility. The simulation results show that the designed sail can meet the mission requirements of the deorbiting system and take the satellite out of orbit within 3.6 years.


Main Subjects

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