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Displaced solar sail orbits: dynamics and applications

Simo, J. and McInnes, C.R. (2010) Displaced solar sail orbits: dynamics and applications. In: 20th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2010-02-14 - 2010-02-17.

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We consider displaced periodic orbits at linear order in the circular restricted Earth-Moon system, where the third massless body is a solar sail. These highly non-Keplerian orbits are achieved using an extremely small sail acceleration. Prior results have been developed by using an optimal choice of the sail pitch angle, which maximises the out-of-plane displacement. In this paper we will use solar sail propulsion to provide station-keeping at periodic orbits around the libration points using small variations in the sail's orientation. By introducing a first-order approximation, periodic orbits are derived analytically at linear order. These approximate analytical solutions are utilized in a numerical search to determine displaced periodic orbits in the full nonlinear model. Applications include continuous line-of-sight communications with the lunar poles.