Picture of a sphere with binary code

Making Strathclyde research discoverable to the world...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. It exposes Strathclyde's world leading Open Access research to many of the world's leading resource discovery tools, and from there onto the screens of researchers around the world.

Explore Strathclyde Open Access research content

Solar polar orbiter: a solar sail technology reference study

Macdonald, M. and Hughes, Gareth W. and McInnes, Colin and Lyngvi, A. and Falkner, P. and Atzei, A. (2006) Solar polar orbiter: a solar sail technology reference study. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 43 (5). pp. 960-972. ISSN 0022-4650

[img] Microsoft Word (Macdonald_M_&_McInnes_CR_-_strathrpints_-_Solar_polar_orbiter_-_A_solar_sail_technology_reference_study_.doc)
Macdonald_M_&_McInnes_CR_-_strathrpints_-_Solar_polar_orbiter_-_A_solar_sail_technology_reference_study_.doc

Download (2MB)

Abstract

An assessment is presented of a Solar Polar Orbiter mission as a Technology Reference Study. The goal is to focus the development of strategically important technologies of potential relevance to future science missions. The technology is solar sailing, and so the use of solar sail propulsion is, thus, defined a priori. The primary mission architecture utilizes maximum Soyuz Fregat 2-1b launch energy, deploying the sail shortly after Fregat separation. The 153 × 153 m square sail then spirals into a circular 0.48-astronomical-unit orbit, where the orbit inclination is raised to 90 deg with respect to the solar equator in just over 5 years. Both the solar sail and spacecraft technology requirements have been addressed. The sail requires advanced boom and new thin-film technology. The spacecraft requirements were found to be minimal because the spacecraft environment is relatively benign in comparison with other currently envisaged missions, such as the Solar Orbiter mission and BepiColombo.