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Workshop / Seminar

MME Seminar: Orbital Mechanics of the Stanford Torus Conceptual Space Station



Join us via Zoom

About the event

Presented by Dr. Joseph Iannelli, Associate Dean for International Programs for VCEA and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, WSU

The Stanford Torus is a proposed NASA design for a space station for 10,000 to 140,000 permanent  residents. To accommodate these many residents, the Stanford Torus would have an outer diameter of 1.8km  (1.12mi), with a habitation-tube diameter of approximately 130m (426ft). These residents will need a form of gravity to live in the station for extended periods of time.  This artificial gravity is obtained from the centripetal acceleration that results from spinning the station about its polar axis. This presentation will focus on the stability of the space-station orbit around the Earth, when the station is subject to perturbations in its orientation with respect to the orbital plane, as may result from shifting mass distributions within the station and dockings of space probes. The dynamics of the space station is investigated through computational solutions of the 13 non-linear equations governing the motion of the station’s center of mass and the 3-D rotation about the center of mass, taking into account both the artificial-gravity spin and the gravity-gradient torque that results from asymmetrical distributions of mass. These equations will be delineated in the presentations along with results of 5 test cases resulting from different initial conditions in the state of the station. The presentation will conclude with a computer graphics animation of the motion of the station around the earth.