Flux Pinning Docking Interfaces in Satellites Using Superconducting Foams as Trapped Field Magnets

Koblischka, Michael R.; Koblischka-Veneva, Anjela; Gokhfeld, Denis; Naik, S. Pavan Kumar; Nouailhetas, Quentin; et al. // Ieee Transactions On Applied Superconductivity//

DOI: 10.1109/TASC.2022.3147734

Flux-Pinning Docking Interfaces (FPDI) in satellite systems were developed using bulk superconductors and permanent magnets in previous works. However, such FPDIs have limited magnetic field strength, consist of heavy-weight material, and can only be used with a single purpose, i.e., as chasing or docking satellite. Replacing the magnetic material in the FPDI by a trapped field (TF)-magnet would enable the interface to operate for both purposes, i.e., generating a (stronger) magnetic field and trapping it. We show the requirements for such a system and discuss the possible gains when using a TF-FPDI in satellites. To reduce the system weight, the use of superconducting foams as superconducting material is discussed in detail. Furthermore, the use of superconducting foams, the size of which can be easily upscaled, may also comprise the function of the damping material, so even more weight could be saved for the payload.