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Swarming Hedgehog Robots to Explore Space

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warren@fourward.com
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Platinum
Re: Hedgehog sweepers?
warren@fourward.com   4/25/2013 8:28:41 AM
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You are behind the times, Scott. I, myself, have saved the galaxy numerous times. We space warriors don't have time to clean up space trash or save the environment when there are so many forms of intelligent space monsters trying to invade the earth. It takes all our waking hours to keep humans safe.

warren@fourward.com
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Re: Hedgehog sweepers?
warren@fourward.com   4/25/2013 8:28:32 AM
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You are behind the times, Scott. I, myself, have saved the galaxy numerous times. We space warriors don't have time to clean up space trash or save the environment when there are so many forms of intelligent space monsters trying to invade the earth. It takes all our waking hours to keep humans safe.

Scott Orlosky
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Re: Hedgehog sweepers?
Scott Orlosky   1/26/2013 11:07:26 PM
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Great idea, Willliam.  What we need is to harness the excess energy and time of gamers to clean space debris, consume poisons from the environment, optimize freight routings and a host of logistic endeavors. Just turn them into games and the problems would be solved in no time.

William K.
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Platinum
Re: Hedgehog sweepers?
William K.   1/17/2013 7:45:02 PM
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I think that I detect a lack of information about what is needed to track a chunk of debris traveling at 1700MPH, and perhaps a need to investigate the kinetics involved with deflecting such a particle.

For a much simplified example, imagine attempting to defrlect a golf ball that has just been hit by a strong golfer using a heavier driver club. There would be quite a few challenges.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Hedgehog sweepers?
Ann R. Thryft   1/16/2013 4:37:12 PM
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williamweaver, that's a brilliant idea. Everybody wins.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Super cool
Ann R. Thryft   1/16/2013 12:18:20 PM
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Come to think of it some technology may have been inspired by fantasy novels, as well as sci-fi. For instance, I'm re-reading Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and the Palantir might be seen as a wireless video-conferencing system.

williamlweaver
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Platinum
Re: Hedgehog sweepers?
williamlweaver   1/16/2013 11:43:00 AM
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You are spot on, freisl. I suggest we take it another step and add Crowdsourcing and Gamification. I say we have a company launch a low-orbit satellite that contains a fantastically-large supply of Hedgehog Sweepers that can be controlled from a smartphone app here on Earth. Users would download the app and then aim and control the trajectory of a Hedgehog Sweeper to nudge a piece of space junk into the atmosphere using an app having game play similar to Angry Birds. In-app upgrade purchases of additional sensors and controls along with advertising would help to defray the costs of the entire program while performing a needed service to humanity's future endeavors in space. I think I would even be willing to pay $2.99 for the Angry Hedgehogs app...

freisl
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Iron
Re: Hedgehog sweepers?
freisl   1/15/2013 10:35:57 PM
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William K is right, catching debris is too expensive even if it's remotely possible. But he also points to a lower cost concept.

What if low mass debris is not caught, but redirected, perhaps to a "burn on re-entry" trajectory. Then the little sweeper goes off to nudge another little nut or bolt to oblivion.

(I'm imagining it would know enought not to step in front of one coming toward it.)

All the while it could be relaying sensory data as its primary objective.

William K.
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Platinum
Re: Hedgehog sweepers?
William K.   1/15/2013 9:00:04 PM
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There are several serious challenges relative to cleaning up space debris, and several of those challenges are quite daunting.

First, those chunks of whatever are all orbiting quite rapidly, and they weigh quite a few pounds. So intercepting them is a lot like catching large bullets. Consider what it would take to catch a baseball moving at 1000MPH. Many of the fragments are that heavy, and moving quite a bit faster.

Next, these chunks of junk are in various orbits, they are not just sitting there waiting to be captured. And when they are caught, consider the amount of energy transferred. So after acquiring one of these targets, catching it could be very exciting. Then there is the question of what to do with it once you have it. At least one sattelite was designed to capture one item and then burn up during re-entry. Quite effective but very expensive.

robatnorcross
User Rank
Gold
Re: Hedgehog sweepers?
robatnorcross   1/15/2013 8:27:32 PM
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Lets imagine that on earth we were deluged with coffee tables deploying hundreds of little spiked things from the sky raining down on us. It would certainly be the end of civilization as we know it. CNN would be interviewing some govt. bureaucrat or better still the presidents "spokes person" that would be trying to tell us it was no big deal while the Army, Navy, Airforce, etc from every country on earth would be on high alert accusing every other country on earth of doing it. Countries would instantly start bombing each other (imagine North and South Korea). Israel would accuse Iran of doing it while Iran would of course be denying it.


May be that is what the Mayans predicted but just had their math off a little.

Only something like this could be developed by our stupid govt.

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