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Optimal solar sail transfers to circular Earth-synchronous displaced orbits

Optimal solar sail transfers to circular Earth-synchronous displaced orbits The aim of this paper is to evaluate the minimum flight time of a solar sail-based spacecraft towards Earth-synchronous (heliocentric) circular displaced orbits. These are special displaced non-Keplerian orbits characterized by a period of one year, which makes them suitable for the observation of Earth’s polar regions. The solar sail is modeled as a flat and purely reflective film with medium-low performance, that is, with a characteristic acceleration less than one millimeter per second squared. Starting from a circular parking orbit of radius equal to one astronomical unit, the optimal steering law is sought by considering the characteristic acceleration that is required for the maintenance of the target Earth-synchronous displaced orbit. The indirect approach used for the calculation of the optimal transfer trajectory allows the minimum flight time to be correlated with several Earth-synchronous displaced orbits, each one being characterized by given values of Earth- spacecraft distance and displacement over the ecliptic. The proposed mathematical model is validated by comparison with results available in the literature, in which a piecewise-constant steering law is used to find the optimal flight time for a transfer towards a one-year Type I non-Keplerian orbit. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Astrodynamics Springer Journals

Optimal solar sail transfers to circular Earth-synchronous displaced orbits

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © Tsinghua University Press 2019
ISSN
2522-008X
eISSN
2522-0098
DOI
10.1007/s42064-019-0057-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to evaluate the minimum flight time of a solar sail-based spacecraft towards Earth-synchronous (heliocentric) circular displaced orbits. These are special displaced non-Keplerian orbits characterized by a period of one year, which makes them suitable for the observation of Earth’s polar regions. The solar sail is modeled as a flat and purely reflective film with medium-low performance, that is, with a characteristic acceleration less than one millimeter per second squared. Starting from a circular parking orbit of radius equal to one astronomical unit, the optimal steering law is sought by considering the characteristic acceleration that is required for the maintenance of the target Earth-synchronous displaced orbit. The indirect approach used for the calculation of the optimal transfer trajectory allows the minimum flight time to be correlated with several Earth-synchronous displaced orbits, each one being characterized by given values of Earth- spacecraft distance and displacement over the ecliptic. The proposed mathematical model is validated by comparison with results available in the literature, in which a piecewise-constant steering law is used to find the optimal flight time for a transfer towards a one-year Type I non-Keplerian orbit.

Journal

AstrodynamicsSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 2, 2020

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