One kilometer (1 km) electric solar wind sail tether produced automatically.

Seppänen H, Rauhala T, Kiprich S, Ukkonen J, Simonsson M, Kurppa R, Janhunen P, Hæggström E

Rev Sci Instrum 84 (9) 095102 [2013-09-00; online 2013-10-05]

We produced a 1 km continuous piece of multifilament electric solar wind sail tether of μm-diameter aluminum wires using a custom made automatic tether factory. The tether comprising 90,704 bonds between 25 and 50 μm diameter wires is reeled onto a metal reel. The total mass of 1 km tether is 10 g. We reached a production rate of 70 m/24 h and a quality level of 1‰ loose bonds and 2‰ rebonded ones. We thus demonstrated that production of long electric solar wind sail tethers is possible and practical.

Affiliated researcher

PubMed 24089861

DOI 10.1063/1.4819795

Crossref 10.1063/1.4819795

Publications 7.1.2