From Low Thrust to Solar Sailing: A Homotopic Approach

Sullo, N. , Peloni, A. and Ceriotti, M. (2016) From Low Thrust to Solar Sailing: A Homotopic Approach. In: 26th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, Napa, CA, USA, 14-18 Feb 2016, pp. 435-454.

124506.pdf - Accepted Version



This paper describes a novel method to solve solar-sail minimum-time-of-flight optimal control problems starting from a low-thrust solution. The method is based on a homotopic continuation. This technique allows to link the low-thrust with the solar-sail acceleration, so that the solar-sail solution can be computed starting from the usually easier low-thrust one by means of a numerical iterative approach. Earth-to-Mars transfers have been studied in order to validate the proposed method. A comparison is presented with a conventional solution approach, based on the use of a genetic algorithm. The results show that the novel technique has advantages, in terms of accuracy of the solution and computational time.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Additional Information:This paper was originally presented at the 26th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting held February 14–18, 2016, Napa, California, U.S.A., and was originally published in the American Astronautical Society (AAS) publication Spaceflight Mechanics 2016, edited by Renato Zanetti, Ryan P. Russell, Martin T. Ozimek and Angela L. Bowes, American Astronautical Society (AAS) Advances in the Astronautical Sciences, Volume 158, 2016, , pp. 435-454 (Copyright © 2016 by American Astronautical Society Publications Office, P.O. Box 28130, San Diego, CA 92198, U.S.A.; Web Site:
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ceriotti, Dr Matteo and Peloni, Mr Alessandro and Sullo, Nicola
Authors: Sullo, N., Peloni, A., and Ceriotti, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 American Astronautical Society Publications Office
First Published:First published in Spaceflight Mechanics 2016: 435-454
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the publisher.

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