Orbital dynamics of large solar power satellites

McNally, I., Scheeres, D., Radice, G. and Ceriotti, M. (2013) Orbital dynamics of large solar power satellites. In: 64th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Beijing, China, 23-27 Sep 2013,

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Publisher's URL: http://www.iac2013.org/dct/page/1

Abstract

Designs for geostationary SPS are extremely large in scale, more than an order of magnitude larger than the International Space Station. The problem of how to control the orbital motion of such large structures, accounting for various perturbing forces, is therefore a topic worthy of further study. The primary objective of the proposed research is to perform a detailed study of SPS orbit dynamics, obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the effect of perturbations on orbits of large SPS structures over a time-frame commensurate with proposed SPS lifetimes (30-40 years). Analytical equations derived by the process of averaging of the SPS equations of motion shall be used in determining the long-term orbital behaviour. Previous studies have simply assumed a geostationary orbit (GEO) then designed control systems for maintaining it thus. It is found that an alternative SPS orbital location known as the geosynchronous Laplace plane (GLP) is superior to GEO. An SPS in GLP requires virtually no fuel to maintain its orbit, avoids the main orbital debris population originating from GEO satellites and is extremely robust, i.e. loss of control is inconsequential. The GLP SPS saves of order 104 to 105 kg per year in fuel compared to a GEO SPS for equivalent power delivery compared to GEO.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Additional Information:ISSN: 1995-6258
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Radice, Dr Gianmarco and Ceriotti, Dr Matteo
Authors: McNally, I., Scheeres, D., Radice, G., and Ceriotti, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Aerospace Sciences
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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