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The Space Elevator from Science Fiction to Engineering - page 14 / 50

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Challenges

Induced Currents: milliwatts and not a problem

Induced oscillations: 7 hour natural frequency couples poorly with moon and sun, active damping with anchor

Radiation: carbon fiber composites good for 1000 years in Earth orbit (LDEF)

Atomic oxygen: <25 micron Nickel coating between 60 and 800 km (LDEF)

Environmental Impact: Ionosphere discharging not an issue

Malfunctioning climbers: up to 3000 km reel in the cable, above 2600 km send up an empty climber to retrieve the first

Lightning, wind, clouds: avoid through proper anchor location selection

Meteors: ribbon design allows for 200 year probability-based life

LEOs: active avoidance requires movement every 14 hours on average to avoid debris down to 1 cm

Health hazards: under investigation but initial tests indicate minimal problem

Damaged or severed ribbons: collatoral damage is minimal due to mass and distribution

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