Approach to SPS Trajectory Optimization

  • Giovanni Vulpetti
Part of the Space Technology Library book series (SPTL, volume 30)


Classical tools for studying advanced missions via solar-photon sailing. Classical calculus of variations, Pontryagin principle, and Non-Linear Programming provide very good tools for optimizing solar-photon sailcraft trajectories with respect to some index of performance. In addition, many robust procedures there exist since many years in the major numerical libraries. In this chapter, one starts from the established Pontryagin principle, and arrives to Non-Linear Programming. This process will be driven by some key properties of the solar-photon sailing dynamical system, and by the basic guideline of keeping the time history of the sail attitude control as less difficult as possible. As far as one may envisage nowadays, this is one of the key points for getting a viable solar-photon sailing, especially regarding large-sail sailcraft. Two advanced mission concepts are built, numerically developed, and widely discussed via detailed tables and figures.


Motion Reversal Solar Sailing Lightness Vector Mission Concept Terminal Speed 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Vulpetti
    • 1
  1. 1.International Academy of Astronautics—Paris, FranceRomeItaly

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