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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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Impact of optical degredation on solar sail mission performance

Macdonald, M. and McInnes, C.R. and Dachwald, Bernd (2007) Impact of optical degredation on solar sail mission performance. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 44 (4). pp. 740-749. ISSN 0022-4650

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Abstract

The optical properties of the thin metalized polymer films that are projected for solar sails are likely to be affected by the damaging effects of the space environment, but their real degradation behavior is to a great extent unknown. The standard solar sail force models that are currently used for solar sail mission analysis and design do not take these effects into account. In this paper we use a parametric model to describe the sail film's optical degradation with its environmental history to estimate the impact of different degradation behaviors on solar sail mission performance for some example interplanetary missions: Mercury rendezvous missions, fast missions to Neptune and to the heliopause, and artificial Lagrange-point missions.