Electrodynamics of long metallic tethers in the ionospheric plasma


  • M. Dobrowolny


A study is presented of the electrodynamic interactions of long metallic tethers (lengths up to 100 km) with the ionospheric plasma. The study, which is of interest in view of possible future experiments using long tethers in space, includes the derivation of current and potential distribution along the tether, taking also the effects of internal resistance into account. Electrostatic and electrodynamic drag forces are computed and compared with aerodynamic drag.