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Torque Rod

  1. Jul 14, 2008 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I am working on producing a torque rod (basically a solenoid) for use in a spacecraft that I am working on here at University of Colorado, Boulder.

    My requirement for this torque rod is to produce at least 7.7Am^2 of magnetic torque. Currently, I have made a torque rod that theoretically can generate this torque, with something like 11,000 turns with a set diameter, material, etc...

    The problem I am having is actually validating that this torque rod I have made meets the 7.7Am^2 requirement. I have used a gaussmeter to attempt to measure this, but when converting a magnetic flux measurement to a magnetic moment, it is extremely sensitive to radius. The calculation I used to convert to a magnetic moment is also assuming an ideal dipole rather than a solenoid. I have been told that this is an okay approximation, but only from farther distances away, but from farther away, the magnetic flux is almost nothing, and a distance measurement must be extremely accurate for real results (there is a r^3 sensitivity, with r measured in meters).

    It has been suggested that I hang the torque rod by a very long string, measure the angle between it and the Earth's field, and attach a force meter at one end of the torque rod. Turning on the torque rod would register some force, and from that a moment could be backed out. The only problem with this method is that the actual force exerted is extremely small (something like 0.3 grams). It is feasible, but the setup would take some time, and may not be any more accurate than the gaussmeter tests.

    I was wondering if anyone had any better suggestions for figuring out the magnetic moment generated by this torque rod, by any method of observation?

    Thank You
  2. jcsd
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