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Prof. Hanspeter Schaub

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Dr. Schaub is a professor of the Aerospace Engineering Sciences department at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an associate fellow of AIAA and fellow of AAS.  His 19 years of professional interests are in nonlinear dynamics and control applications, with a special emphasis on astrodynamics. He has performed research in spacecraft attitude and control, exploiting nonlinear dynamics of control moment gyros to avoid classical CMG singularities, as well as extensive research in spacecraft formation flying dynamics and control problems.  His current interests include charged relative motion dynamics and control, space debris mitigation, three-axis attitude control, as well as visual servoing of autonomous vehicles.  Dr. Schaub's prior work experience includes 4 years at the Sandia National Labs Intelligent Systems and Robotics Center (ISRC), and 4 years at the Virginia Tech aerospace and ocean engineering department as an assistant professor.   He has authored about 92 peer reviewed papers, presented nearly 137 conference papers, published a 3rd edition text book on analytical mechanics of space systems, and holds patent on a non contact position and orientation measurement system, as well as two patents on a touchless GEO debris reorbiting method.  The text book was 2013 recipient of the AIAA Summerfield book award.  Dr. Schaub has received the H. Joseph Smead Fellow from the University of Colorado, the Provost's Faculty Achievement Award, the College of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award, the Boulder Faculty Assembly Excellence in Teaching Award, as well as the Dean's Award for Outstanding Teaching.


Electrostatic GEO Space Debris Mitigation

The electrostatic tractor employs touchless charge transfer to create an electrostatic attraction or repulsion between two space objects.  For example, using either an electron or ion beam, the potential of a GEO passive object can be controlled. This capability of charging objects to high potentials (up to tens of kV) has a variety of exciting applications and will enable other capabilities and technologies.  In particular, this talk will focus on the large GEO debris remediation application.  This debris can be school-bus sized and tumbling at many degrees per second.  With the electrostatic tractor concept, the debris can continue to tumble while being towed to a disposal orbit over a few months. This avoids challenging docking operations with tumbling, uncooperative objects, avoid risks of breaking of debris components at physical contact points, and provides a cost-effective method to move many tons of debris out of the GEO zone.  The electrostatic tractor performance over a range of space weather and tug sizes is discussed, as well as charged relative motion control challenges.

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