Multiple NEA Rendezvous Mission: Solar Sailing Options

Peloni, A. , Dachwald, B. and Ceriotti, M. (2017) Multiple NEA Rendezvous Mission: Solar Sailing Options. In: Fourth International Symposium on Solar Sailing (ISSS 2017), Kyoto, Japan, 17-20 Jan 2017,

135222.pdf - Accepted Version



The scientific interest in near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and the classification of some of those as potentially hazardous asteroid for the Earth stipulated the interest in NEA exploration. Close-up observations of these objects will increase drastically our knowledge about the overall NEA population. For this reason, a multiple NEA rendezvous mission through solar sailing is investigated, taking advantage of the propellantless nature of this groundbreaking propulsion technology. Considering a spacecraft based on the DLR/ESA Gossamer technology, this work focuses on the search of possible sequences of NEA encounters. The effectiveness of this approach is demonstrated through a number of fully-optimized trajectories. The results show that it is possible to visit five NEAs within 10 years with near-term solar-sail technology. Moreover, a study on a reduced NEA database demonstrates the reliability of the approach used, showing that 58% of the sequences found with an approximated trajectory model can be converted into real solar-sail trajectories. Lastly, this second study shows the effectiveness of the proposed automatic optimization algorithm, which is able to find solutions for a large number of mission scenarios without any input required from the user.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ceriotti, Dr Matteo and Peloni, Mr Alessandro
Authors: Peloni, A., Dachwald, B., and Ceriotti, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the Authors
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