Picture of a black hole

Strathclyde Open Access research that creates ripples...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by Strathclyde physicists involved in observing gravitational waves and black hole mergers as part of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) - but also other internationally significant research from the Department of Physics. Discover why Strathclyde's physics research is making ripples...

Strathprints also exposes world leading research from the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

Microsolar sails for Earth magnetotail monitoring

Lappas, Vaios and Wie, Bong and McInnes, C.R. and Tarabini, L. and Wallace, K. (2007) Microsolar sails for Earth magnetotail monitoring. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 44 (4). pp. 840-848. ISSN 0022-4650

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)

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 miniaturization of technology can drive these systems much smaller (<5 kg mass, <10 msail diameter) than existing sails, while still having a highV 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 implement using conventional propulsion techniques. One such unique candidate mission is to study the Earth's magnetotail. The paper describes 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 measurements 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 analyzed with a significant science return.