Classification of 2D fixed Sun angle Solar Sail Trajectories

Stephen Wokes, P L Palmer & Mark Roberts

 

The two dimensional heliocentric trajectories for xed sun angle solar
sails are examined. The objective of this work is to completely classify all
possible motion in this framework. This is achieved via a mathematical
reduction which results in a two dimensional phase space interpretation
of the problem. For a given sail quality (lightness factor) and Sun angle
this phase space shows all possible solar sail trajectories. This phase
space is used to survey the possible motion. It is discovered that there
exists a trajectory which moves from one logarithmic spiral solution to
the other. Another trajectory that experiences being instantaneously
stationary within the solar system is also found. How the phase space
varies according to the sail quality and the Sun angle is also investigated.

 

Paper: solar sail

Ref: Wokes, S., Roberts, M. & Palmer, P.L., AIAA J Guidance, Control & Dynamics, 31, No 5, pp. 1249—1258, 2008.

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