High Voltage Orbiting Long Tether, or HiVOLT, is a concept proposed by Russian physicist V. V. Danilov and further refined by Robert P. Hoyt and Robert L. Forward for draining and removing the radiation fields of the Van Allen radiation belts that surround the Earth. A proposed configuration consists of a system of five 100 km long conducting tethers deployed from satellites, and charged to a large voltage. This would cause charged particles that encounter the tethers to have their pitch angle changed, thus over time dissolving the inner belts. Hoyt and Forward's company, Tethers Unlimited, performed a preliminary analysis simulation in 2011, and produced a chart depicting a theoretical radiation flux reduction, to less than 1% of current levels within two months for the inner belts that threaten LEO objects.
Valentin Danilov (Russian: Валентин Данилов, born 1948) is a Russian physicist, whose research deals with the effect of solar activity on space satellites. On November 2004, he was found guilty and sentenced to 14 years for espionage. Many scientists andhuman rights organizations, both in Russia and worldwide protested the sentence because the information he passed to China was, in fact, declassified in 1992.
Danilov was head of the Thermo-Physics Centre at Krasnoyarsk State Technical University (KTSU). In 1999, he has signed a contract between the KSTU and China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. KSTU was supposed to make a test bench used to emulate effect of space on man-made satellites
On February 2001 Danilov was arrested by FSB, accused of espionage, but released on bail October 2, 2002. He was acquitted by a jury of all charges on December 29, 2003.
June 9, 2004 - the Supreme Court of Russia overturned Danilov's acquittal of espionage. On November 2004, another jury convicted Danilov of espionage. He was subsequently sentenced to 14 years in jail for treason. According to human rights organizations, his sentence was unjustified, because Danilov provided documents to the court showing that all the "secret information" has been in fact declassified.
According to a statement by Amnesty International, "as in the case of Igor Sutyagin, his first trial ended in acquittal; the court concluded that the prosecution had not established violations of the law by Valentin Danilov. In June 2004, the Supreme Court of Russiaquashed the verdict of acquittal; following a second, closed trial, Valentin Danilov was convicted of treason (Article 275 of the Russian Criminal Code) and sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment in November 2004." Danilov was released on parole in Krasnoyarsk in November 2012. He would like to continue his scientific career in Novosibirsk.
UPD: картинка (и ссылка с неё на сайт) на тот случай, если кому-то будет интересно следить за тем, что парни из Tethers Unlimited и NASA вместе делают: