1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Space elevator tether

  1. Oct 5, 2008 #1
    I think there has been floated the idea that the space elevator tether may be a ribbon. I think it will fail if it isn't round. I think it will twist with the wind, it will twist in different directions at different altitudes, the twisting will change it's length dramatically and it will break. I have doubts about this whole idea working anyway but a flat tether seems pretty dumb to me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Yes, placing a flat ribbon and a crosswind does tend to have rather disastrous effects. However, when stepping down a load on a flatbed trailer, and truckers usually "twist" the strap. This corkscrew shave tends to make any aerodynamic forces and equally in all directions, canceling one another out.

    In the discussions that you've heard, as this technique been brought up?
  4. Oct 5, 2008 #3
    It should also be noted that round cables, such as those found on suspension bridges, are more easily subjected to vibration and resonance than ribbon like tension members.

    The space elevator concept entirely relies on the development of nano-tube technology. The geometry of the tether is the least of the concerns right now for that concept.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Space elevator tether
  1. Forces in elevators (Replies: 2)