Optical control of solar sails using distributed reflectivity

Borggräfe, A., Heiligers, J., Ceriotti, M. and McInnes, C.R. (2014) Optical control of solar sails using distributed reflectivity. In: AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (SciTech2014), Maryland, MD, USA, 13-17 Jan 2014, (doi: 10.2514/6.2014-0833)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/6.2014-0833


The dynamics of solar sails with a variable surface re ectivity distribution are inves- tigated. When changing the re ectivity across the sail film, which can be achieved using electro-chromic coatings, the solar radiation pressure forces and torques across the sail film can be controlled without changing the attitude of the spacecraft relative to the Sun and without using mechanical systems. The paper presents two approaches. First, a continuous re ectivity distribution is presented to control the sail attitude under the in uence of, for example, gravity gradient torques in Earth orbit. The second approach assumes discrete on/off re ectivity regions across the surface. Both concepts of `optical reconfiguration' of solar sails enable a more exible steering of the spacecraft and minimize actuation effort.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ceriotti, Dr Matteo and McInnes, Professor Colin
Authors: Borggräfe, A., Heiligers, J., Ceriotti, M., and McInnes, C.R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the publisher
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