Micro-to-macro: astrodynamics at extremes of lengths-scale

McInnes, C.R. , Ceriotti, M. , Colombo, C., Sanchez Cuartielles, J.P., Bewick, R., Heiligers, J. and Lucking, C. (2011) Micro-to-macro: astrodynamics at extremes of lengths-scale. Acta Futura, 4, pp. 81-97. (doi:10.2420/AF04.2011.81)

McInnes, C.R. , Ceriotti, M. , Colombo, C., Sanchez Cuartielles, J.P., Bewick, R., Heiligers, J. and Lucking, C. (2011) Micro-to-macro: astrodynamics at extremes of lengths-scale. Acta Futura, 4, pp. 81-97. (doi:10.2420/AF04.2011.81)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2420/AF04.2011.81

Abstract

This paper investigates astrodynamics at extremes of length-scale, ranging from swarms of future `smart dust' devices to the capture and utilisation of small near Earth asteroids. At the smallest length-scales families of orbits are found which balance the energy gain from solar radiation pressure with energy dissipation due to air drag. This results in long orbit lifetimes for high area-to-mass ratio `smart dust' devices. High area-to-mass hybrid spacecraft, using both solar sail and electric propulsion, are then considered to enable `pole-sitter' orbits providing a polar-stationary vantage point for Earth observation. These spacecraft are also considered to enable displaced geostationary orbits. Finally, the potential material resource available from captured near Earth asteroids is considered which can underpin future large-scale space engineering ventures. The use of such material for geo-engineering is investigated using a cloud of unprocessed dust in the vicinity of the Earth-Sun $L_1$ point to fractionally reduce solar insolation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Colombo, Camilla and Ceriotti, Dr Matteo and McInnes, Professor Colin
Authors: McInnes, C.R., Ceriotti, M., Colombo, C., Sanchez Cuartielles, J.P., Bewick, R., Heiligers, J., and Lucking, C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Acta Futura
Publisher:European Space Agency
ISSN:2309-1940
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2011 The Authors
First Published:First published in Acta Futura 4:81-97
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with permission of the authors.

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