Potential Effects of a Realistic Solar Sail and Comparison to an Ideal Sail

Simo, J. and McInnes, C. R. (2016) Potential Effects of a Realistic Solar Sail and Comparison to an Ideal Sail. In: 26th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, Napa, CA, USA, 14-18 Feb 2016, pp. 3106-3120.

129011.pdf - Accepted Version



Solar sail technology offers new capabilities for space missions due to the opportunities for non-Keplerian orbits. In this paper, novel families of highly non-Keplerian orbits for spacecraft utilising solar sail at linear order are investigated in the Earth-Moon circular restricted three-body problem. Firstly, it is assumed implicitly that the solar sail is a perfect reflector. Based upon the first-order approximation, an analytical formulation of the periodic orbits at linear order is presented. The approximate analytical solutions offer useful insights into the nature of the motion in the vicinity of the libration points, and are used to give periodic solutions numerically in the full nonlinear system. These orbits were accomplished by using an optimal choice of the sail pitch angle, which maximize the out-of-plane distance. Thereafter, the resulting effects of the non-ideal flat sail model have been computed and compared with an ideal solar sail. A square sail configuration, which is likely to be chosen for various near-term sail missions is used to illustrate the concept. The main effect of the non-perfect sail is to reduce the out-of-plane displacement distance which may be achieved for a given characteristic acceleration. It is also observed that there is a significant deviation in force magnitude between the realistic solar sail and the ideal solar sail model.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McInnes, Professor Colin
Authors: Simo, J., and McInnes, C. R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
First Published:First published in 26th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting: 3106-3120
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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