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What is an E-Glider?

asked 2016-08-24 09:37:57 -0500

Pascal Le Dramont gravatar image

A Electrostatic glider has been proposed by Marco Quadrelli at JPL. How does it work?

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answered 2016-08-26 17:27:21 -0500

Rob Mueller gravatar image

updated 2016-08-26 18:12:03 -0500

The environment near the surface of airless bodies (asteroids, comets, Moon) is electrically charged due to Sun's photoelectric bombardment. Charged dust is ever present, even at high altitudes (dust fountains), following the Sun's illumination. It is envisaged that the global scale exploration of airless bodies by a gliding vehicle that experiences its own electrostatic lift and drag by its interaction with the naturally charged particle environment near the surface. This Electrostatic Glider (E-Glider) lifts off by extending thin, charged, appendages, which are also articulated to direct the levitation force in the most convenient direction for propulsion and maneuvering. It thus carries out its science mission by circumnavigating the small body, and it lands, wherever it is most convenient, by retracting the appendages or by thruster/anchor.

In August 2016, Marco Quadrelli presented an update on this work at the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Symposium in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Asked: 2016-08-24 09:37:57 -0500

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Last updated: Aug 26 '16