Loosely-displaced geostationary orbits with hybrid sail propulsion

Liu, Y., Heiligers, J. and Ceriotti, M. (2018) Loosely-displaced geostationary orbits with hybrid sail propulsion. Aerospace Science and Technology, 79, pp. 105-117. (doi: 10.1016/j.ast.2018.05.034)

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Abstract

To overcome the congestion of geostationary orbit slots, previous work proposed to use vertically-displaced, non-Keplerian geostationary orbits by means of continuous low-thrust propulsion in the form of hybrid solar sail and solar electric propulsion (hybrid sail). This work extends and generalizes that concept by loosening the position constraint and introducing a station-keeping box. Sub-optimal orbits are first found with an inverse method that still satisfy the geostationary position constraint (i.e., no station-keeping box), which will be referred to as ideal displaced geostationary orbits. For these sub-optimal orbits, it is found that the hybrid sail saves propellant mass compared to the pure solar electric propulsion case: for solar sail lightness numbers of up to a value of 0.2 and the most favorable time during the year (i.e., at summer solstice), the hybrid sail saves up to 71.6% propellant mass during a single day compared to the use of pure solar electric propulsion. Subsequently, the sub-optimal orbits are used as a first-guess for a direct optimization algorithm based on Gauss pseudospectral transcription, which loosens the position constraint. This enables a more flexible trajectory around the ideal displaced geostationary orbit and lets the solar sail contribute more efficiently to the required acceleration. It therefore leads to a further propellant savings of up to 73.8%. Finally, the mass budget shows that by using by using far-term solar sail technology, the hybrid propulsion system enables an evident reduction in the required initial mass of the spacecraft for a given payload mass with a relatively long mission duration.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Yuan Liu would like to acknowledge the University of Glasgow for supporting his academic visit; The National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (No. 2013AA122904); This research was jointly funded by the China Natural Science Foundation (No. 61633008). Jeannette Heiligers acknowledges the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship 658645 - S4ILS: Solar Sailing for Space Situational Awareness in the Lunar System.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ceriotti, Dr Matteo and Liu, Mr Yuan
Authors: Liu, Y., Heiligers, J., and Ceriotti, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Aerospace Science and Technology
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1270-9638
ISSN (Online):1626-3219
Published Online:22 May 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS
First Published:First published in Aerospace Science and Technology 79:105-117
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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