Reply to post: Re: Big problem with limited solutions

Clean up orbit first, then we can think about space factories, says FCC

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Big problem with limited solutions

slow relative-moving sticky gunk is probably as good as any other idea.

I was considering some kind of electrostatic field, and/or maybe an electron cloud. charged particles attract opposite and and repel like charge. Leveraging high static charges may allow some kind of 'sweeping' into some kind of 'dustpan'.

Pretty easy to make an electron cloud, even with static electricity, but you need to keep your total electrical charge "neutral". But if it has ion propulsion you can do this while moving forward. Let's say an electron gun (giant tube TV type) on the nose, and positive ions out the propulsion end. It would help maintain a balanced charge that way. Those electrons in the cloud negatively charge everything in front of you. Then, a lightweight net towed behind (sticky, with a neutral charge) to collect the negatively charged particles (and conductive so it can remain neutral). Care would need to be taken to ensure engine exhaust did not interfere but it is also something that could (potentially) help for the really tiny stuff in orbit.


May need to have a way of un-dusting solar arrays though... I'm sure debris would be attracted to them.

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