Design and trade-offs of a pole-sitter mission

Ceriotti, Matteo and Heiligers, Jeannette and McInnes, Colin (2013) Design and trade-offs of a pole-sitter mission. In: 3rd International Symposium on Solar Sailing, 2013-06-11 - 2013-06-13.

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This paper provides a mission analysis and systems design of a pole-sitter mission, i.e. a spacecraft that is continuously above an Earth Pole, and can provide real-time, continuous and hemispherical coverage of the polar regions. Two different propulsion strategies are proposed: solar electric propulsion (SEP) and SEP hybridized with a solar sail. For both, minimum-propellant pole-sitter orbits and transfers are designed, assuming Soyuz and Ariane 5 launch options. A mass budget analysis allows for a trade-off between mission lifetime and payload mass capacity (up to 7 years for 100 kg), and candidate payloads for a range of applications are investigated.