Sunjammer: preliminary end-to-end mission design

Heiligers, J., Diedrich, B., Derbes, W. and McInnes, C. (2014) Sunjammer: preliminary end-to-end mission design. In: 2014 AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, San Diego, CA, USA, 4-7 Aug 2014, (doi:10.2514/6.2014-4127)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


This paper provides a preliminary end-to-end mission design for NASA’s Sunjammer solar sail mission, which is scheduled for ground test deployment in 2015 with launch at a later date and targets the sub-L1 region for advanced solar storm warning. The artificial equilibrium points (AEPs) in the sub-L1 region accessible by the Sunjammer sail as well as solar sail Halo orbits are investigated. Subsequently, the fly-out from an Earth GTO into either a selected sub-L1 AEP or Halo orbit is optimized for a trade-off between the AV to be provided at GTO perigee and the time of flight. In addition, interesting, time-optimal extended mission scenarios are presented to underpin future solar sail mission applications, e.g. transferring to an AEP high above the ecliptic plane for high-latitude Earth observation. All analyses are carried out both for an ideal Sunjammer sail performance as well as for a realistic performance derived from a detailed sail structural analysis. A comparison of the results shows that non-ideal sail properties increase the time of flight of the trajectories by 2.4 - 7.9%.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McInnes, Professor Colin
Authors: Heiligers, J., Diedrich, B., Derbes, W., and McInnes, C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record