By Colin Robert McInnes BSc, PhD, CEng, FRAS, FRAes (auth.)
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Additional resources for Solar Sailing: Technology, Dynamics and Mission Applications
Because of this insurance Geostorm can in fact be used as a fast track to a first solar sail mission. If deployment fails, then the mission is only degraded, not lost. Other than artificial Lagrange points, the near-term applications which appear particularly attractive are the solar polar and Mercury orbiter missions. Both of these missions are confined to the inner solar system where the solar sail will experience enhanced acceleration. 1v and specific impulse delivered by the solar sail are quite immense.
The orientation of the solar sail, and so the force vector, is Sec. 3] Practicalities of solar sailing 15 300 250 :[200 '" '0 'u; ~ en 150 100 o 10 20 30 40 50 Payload (kg) Fig. 11. Square solar sail dimensions as a function of payload mass for a payload mass fraction of 1/3. Total force Incident force Reflected light Sail Incident light Sun Fig. 12. Incidence and reaction forces exerted on a perfectly reflecting solar sail. described relative to the Sun-line by the sail pitch angle 0'. Therefore, by altering the orientation of the solar sail relative to the incoming photons, the solar radiation pressure force vector can in principle be directed to any orientation within 90° of the Sun-line.
5 g m -2. Such a solar sail would enable solar physics missions which levitate above the solar poles, providing continuous observations, or indeed hovering at any particular location in the solar system. Such a solar sail could also be used to displace circular Sun-centred orbits high above the ecliptic plane, with the orbit period chosen to be synchronous with the Earth or some other solar system body, as shown in Fig. 18. When solar sails are available with a characteristic acceleration of order 6 mm s -2, large families of exotic new orbits will be available for mission applications.
Solar Sailing: Technology, Dynamics and Mission Applications by Colin Robert McInnes BSc, PhD, CEng, FRAS, FRAes (auth.)