When designing future missions, the engineer’s imagination is limited by inevitable real-world constraints. For example, the propulsion system to be used will have a given specific impulse and so, for a finite propellant mass, will provide some total Δv. In addition, to achieve the desired mission goals a trajectory will be designed which fits within the envelope of the Δv; available from the propulsion system. For solar sails, however, the propulsion system has in principle infinite specific impulse, freeing the engineer to consider new means of attaining mission goals. Furthermore, with high-performance solar sails, a potentially infinite specific impulse is combined with an acceleration of the same order as the local solar gravitational acceleration. With such tools at their disposal, engineers can consider novel forms of orbital acrobatics, again allowing new means of attaining mission goals.
KeywordsEquilibrium Solution Ecliptic Plane Solar Radiation Pressure Lagrange Point Halo Orbit
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
Sun-centred non-Keplerian orbits
- McInnes, CR. & Simmons, J.F.L., ‘Halo Orbits for Solar Sails — Dynamics and Applications’, European Space Agency Journal, 13, 3, 229–234, 1989.Google Scholar
- McInnes, C.R., ‘Advanced Trajectories for Solar Sail Spacecraft’, PhD Thesis, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, October 1991.Google Scholar
- Mashkevich, S.V. & Shvartsburg, A.A., ‘“Best” Solar Sail for Heliocentric Halos’, Soviet Physics Doklady, 37, 6, 290–293, 1992.Google Scholar
Planet-centred non-Keplerian orbits
Artificial Lagrange points
- McInnes, C.R.,’ solar Sail Halo Trajectories: Dynamics and Applications’, IAF-91-334, 42nd International Astronautical Congress, Montreal, October, 1991.Google Scholar