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Solar sailing - Mission opportunities and innovative technology demonstration

McInnes, C.R. and Eiden, M. and Groepper, P. and Peacock, T. (2001) Solar sailing - Mission opportunities and innovative technology demonstration. ESA European Space Agency Bulletin, 108. pp. 58-65. ISSN 0376-4265

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    Abstract

    Solar sailing is a unique and elegant form of propulsion that transcends reliance on reaction mass. Rather than carrying propellant, solar sails acquire momentum from photons, the quantum packets of energy from which sunlight is composed. In addition, since solar sails are not limited by reaction mass, they can provide continual acceleration, limited only by the lifetime of the sail film in the space environment. Therefore, solar sails can expand the envelope of possible missions, enabling new high-energy mission concepts that are essentially impossible with conventional reaction propulsion, and enhancing current mission concepts by lowering launch mass and reducing trip times.

    Item type: Article
    ID code: 6229
    Keywords: solar sails, guidance systems, astronautical science, control systems, Mechanical engineering and machinery, Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics, Space and Planetary Science, Aerospace Engineering
    Subjects: Technology > Mechanical engineering and machinery
    Technology > Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
    Department: Faculty of Engineering > Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
    Related URLs:
      Depositing user: Strathprints Administrator
      Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2008
      Last modified: 05 Sep 2014 13:19
      URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/6229

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