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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs.

Strathprints serves world leading Open Access research by the University of Strathclyde, including research by the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), where research centres such as the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), the Cancer Research UK Formulation Unit, SeaBioTech and the Centre for Biophotonics are based.

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Solar sail hybrid trajectory optimization for non-Keplerian orbit transfers

Hughes, Gareth W. and McInnes, Colin (2002) Solar sail hybrid trajectory optimization for non-Keplerian orbit transfers. Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, 25 (3). pp. 602-604. ISSN 0731-5090

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Abstract

SOLAR sails have long been seen as an attractive concept for low-thrust propulsion.They transcend reliance on reaction mass and have the ability to provide a small, but continuous, acceleration. Because propellant mass is not an issue, high-performance sails can enable new exotic non-Keplerianor bits (NKOs)1 that are not feasible for conventional chemical or electric propulsion.A constant out-of plane sail force is utilized to raise the spacecraft's orbit high above the ecliptic plane in two- or three-body systems. Potential beneŽfits to the science community are large. Circular, displaced orbits can be used to provide continuous observation of the solar poles or to provide a unique vantage point for infrared astronomy. (There is much less resolution-limiting dust out of the ecliptic plane enabling smaller telescope mirror dimensions for equivalent performance.) Very high performance sails can even levitate, in equilibrium, at any point in space.