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Satellite Technology: Principles and Applications, 3rd Edition by Anil Maini, Varsha Agrawal

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16Emerging Trends

16.1 Introduction

In the concluding chapter of this book we will discuss an assortment of topics representing some of the emerging trends in the field of satellite technology and its applications. The assortment of topics included in this chapter could not have been justifiably discussed as separate chapters from the viewpoint of scope of the present book. The chapter begins with a discussion on some non-conventional technologies such as space tethers and their possible use in executing propellant-less satellite orbit manoeuvres, generation of electric power for satellites and as space elevators, robotic drones for satellite stabilization and aerostats for surveillance, reconnaissance and communication relay applications. This is followed up by a detailed discussion on millimetre wave satellites, emerging concepts in space station technology and satellite services.

16.2 Space Tethers

One of the most important issues related to the development, launch and station keeping of satellite and other spacecraft missions is the economics of these operations. Scientists and technologists have been working hard to find new ways of reducing the cost to orbit and also the cost of maintaining satellites in the desired orbit during the life cycle of the mission. Efforts have also been made to develop alternative technologies to fuel rocket engines if conceived applications such as space tourism were to become a reality in the not too distant future. As a simple illustration, ...

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