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Solar kites for Earth magneto-tail monitoring

Lappas, Vaios and Wie, Bong and McInnes, C.R. and Tarabini, L. and Gomes, L. and Wallace, K. (2006) Solar kites for Earth magneto-tail monitoring. In: ESA Workshop on Innovative Systems Concepts, 2006-02-21, Noordwijk, Netherlands.

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Abstract

Solar Sails have been studied in the past as an alternative means of propulsion for spacecraft. Recent advances in Solar Sail technology and the miniaturisation of technology can drive these systems much smaller (<5 kg mass, <10m sail diameter) than existing sails, while still having a high delta-V and acceleration capability. With these unique capabilities of miniature Solar Sails, called Solar Kites, some very unique space science missions can be achieved which are difficult to be implemented using conventional propulsion techniques. One such unique candidate mission is to study the Earth's magnetotail. The paper lays out the main design features and technologies of a Solar Kite mission/platform and demonstrates that a cluster of Solar Kites with science payloads can provide multiple, in-situ measurments of the dynamic evolution of energetic particle distributions of the rotating geomagnetic tail of Earth. With a unique design, a Solar Kite proves to be an efficient, affordable and versatile solution for the mission analysed with a significant science return.

Item type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
ID code: 6519
Keywords: solar kites, solar sails, orbits, propulsion systems, space flight, Mechanical engineering and machinery, Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Subjects: Technology > Mechanical engineering and machinery
Technology > Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Department: Faculty of Engineering > Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) > School of Psychological Science and Health > Counselling
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Depositing user: Strathprints Administrator
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2008
Last modified: 06 Jun 2014 13:52
URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/6519

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