At this year’s AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, Kirk Hovell presented the first ever experimental demonstration of detumbling a spinning space debris using visco-elastic tethers. Compared to the currently-accepted tether configuration proposed by the European Space Agency, Kirk’s innovative sub-tether strategy is proven to be more effective at detumbling a spinning space debris.

In addition, Kirk’s outstanding presentation of his work on space debris tether capture was recognized at this conference by a Best Presentation in Session Award.

More details on Kirk’s research can be found here and videos of the experiments can be found here.

Kirk Hovell is currently a Master’s student at Carleton’s Spacecraft Robotics and Control Laboratory under the supervision of Prof. Steve Ulrich.