Picture of Open Access badges

Discover Open Access research at Strathprints

It's International Open Access Week, 24-30 October 2016. This year's theme is "Open in Action" and is all about taking meaningful steps towards opening up research and scholarship. The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Explore recent world leading Open Access research content by University of Strathclyde researchers and see how Strathclyde researchers are committing to putting "Open in Action".


Image: h_pampel, CC-BY

Periodic orbits high above the ecliptic plane in the solar sail 3-body problem

Waters, T. and McInnes, C.R. (2007) Periodic orbits high above the ecliptic plane in the solar sail 3-body problem. In: AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Conference, 2007-01-28 - 2007-02-01.

PDF (strathprints006602.pdf)

Download (2MB) | Preview


Due to the non-central nature of the force on a solar sail, there exist equilibrium points of the equations of motion out of the ecliptic plane in the Sun-Earth-Sail circular restricted 3-body problem, in contrast with the classical Lagrange points. Analogous to the 'halo' orbits, we construct large amplitude periodic orbits about these equilibria. By timing the period of the orbit we may negate the seasonal effects of the variation in the Earth's axis of rotation, and thus the sail's position when viewed from the pole subtends a much smaller angle (around 8 deg rather than 46 deg). These orbits are of practical interest with regards to communication with, and constant imaging of, the poles.