WCS – Using weather mirrors for collecting space debris

November 27, 2008

Using Weather Control System (WCS) mirrors for collecting space debris
~James Dunn

Creating a global Weather Control System (WCS)

One of the problems with our space program is that it has deposited a number of satellites in space that are now trash moving at high velocities. There is also a vast amount of natural debris from asteroids, dirt ejected into space from large asteroid strikes on Earth, and a variety of other sources. The big pieces we track and eventually the space program will have no choice but to go collect them. These particles and objects are all travelling at high speeds in every direction, somewhat parallel with the Earths surface. Much of the debris is too small to detect from here on Earth. How do you collect something you can’t see, but is deadly?

The fastest bullits here on Earth can not travel faster than about 5,000 feet per second and are about the volume as a dime. Now imagine an object traveling more than 35,000 feet per second and anywhere from the size of dust to 24 inches in diameter. Deadly in the extreme. We can track objects larger than about 3 inches in diameter from Earth; so we can avoid collision with them. But what about the smaller debris?

As you get closer to an object, it is more easily detected. So when out in space and with no atmosphere to distort reflections, we should be able to track objects down to about the size of a grain of sand moving at high velocities.

How to collect Orbiting Debris

The WCS will maintain many hundreds of mirrors to regulate the Earth’s environment. The advent of nanotubes allows the structure of the mirror to be flexible, controllable, and tough. The carbon nanotubes are more than 1,000 times stronger than steel, and in some case can be made “self-mending”. Instead of applying compounds to a network of fine wires, the mirror support and control elements could concievably be made from carbon nanotubes.

As dust moving at high velocity hits the nanotubes it slows the dust and displaces part of the nanotube structure. For some parts of the structure, the nanotubes will repair themselves like disturbing a blob of mercury, it will reshape itself and coalesce to its original shape. Many such collisions over time will slow the dust sufficiently to fall out of orbit and burn up in our atmosphere.

Objects in very large eliptical orbits can have very high speeds as they pass lower orbits and come from directions at high angles to that of circular orbits. However, their large eliptical path makes them susceptable to gravitational influences of the moon which disturbs their flight path, making their orbit unstable. Very little debris is of this nature.

For any object to be in orbit, they must all be traveling at approximately the same speed for a given orbiting distance from the Earth, so the mirrors will be traveling at the same speed, but along a different trajectory. Larger pieces of space debris can be tracked and over time a mirror can match the debris trajectory and speed and wait for the debris to circle the Earth and come back to impact the mirror at relatively slow velocities.

The extreme low forces and gravity allows three muscle-wire style nanotubes to be elastically and coaxially attached to one another (the diameter of a small wire), to curl from the center of the mirror extending out to the debris, entangle the debris and move the debris slowly to a storage container. The robotic arm would then spiral loosely out from the center for storage. This ensures that a single debris strike will only damage the manipulator in one place, allowing the other manipulator to make repairs. The same robotic manipulators could also perform minor mirror repairs from high speed debris collisions.

What to do with the Collected Debris

Periodically, maintenance teams will be required to perform maintenance on all of the mirrors. The operable mirror will change its trajectory, speed, and altitude to match that of the Maintenance Station. For inoperable mirrors, a robotic vehicle will be deployed to tow the inoperable mirror. The debris collected will be processed and used as raw materials, as well as other financial opportunities as cited in related entries. The debris can also be inventoried, and then deposited into a stable orbit around a designated trajectory and altitude, and then tracked. When raw material is needed, inventory would provide where to get what, and a mirror would be sequenced to retrieve the material and dock with the maintenance platform.

This system allows for cleaning up debris that is orbiting the Earth, actively using debris as a resource, and allows for the mirror to have the resources to perform minor repairs on itself.

As with all advanced technologies, the controlling agency must be ethically structured.


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