Influence of climber motion on the nonequatorial space elevator dynamics

Space technics and technology


Pikalov R. S.

Samara National Research University named after Academician S.P. Korolev, 34, Moskovskoye shosse, Samara, 443086, Russia



Within the framework of this work the effect of the climber motion on the nonequatorial space elevator is studied. The dynamics of the payload after separation from the elevator is considered.

Space elevator is a system designed for delivery of a payload into Earth orbit. It consists of a tether, space stations — counterweight and a climber. The tether connects the counterweight located in the geostationary orbit with the Earth. The climber with a payload moves on the tether. A mathematical model describing the spatial motion of the space elevator was developed. A series of numerical simulations was performed to determine the effect of climber’s motion on the space elevator’s dynamics. The motion of the payload after separation of the elevator was studied.

The tether is simulated as a pair of inextensible inelastic bars of variable length and cross-sectional area. Counterweight and climber are considered as material points. The developed model takes into account the effect of the tether bending, but it does not require large computational cost.

Results show that a uniform climbing of payload leads to buildup oscillations of the space elevator. It is shown that the latitude of the point of the tether’s attachment to the Earth affects the oscillations in the elevator. The motion of the payload after its separation from the elevator is researched. The dependence of the apogee and perigee on the payload’s separation altitude is obtained.


space elevator, climber, tether, nonequatorial, orbital motion, payload


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