A solar sail generates thrust without consuming any propellant, so it constitutes a promising option for mission scenarios requiring a continuous propulsive acceleration, such as the maintenance of a (collinear) L1-type artificial equilibrium point in the Sun-[Earth+Moon] circular restricted three-body problem. The usefulness of a spacecraft placed at such an artificial equilibrium point is in its capabilities of solar observation, as it guarantees a continuous monitoring of solar activity and is able to give an early warning in case of catastrophic solar flares. Because those vantage points are known to be intrinsically unstable, a suitable control system is necessary for station keeping purposes. This work discusses on how to stabilize an L1-type artificial equilibrium point with a solar sail by suitably adjusting its lightness number and thrust vector orientation. A full-state feedback control law is assumed, where the control gains are chosen with a linear-quadratic regulator approach. In particular, the numerical simulation results show that an L1-type artificial equilibrium point can be maintained with small required control torques, by using a set of reflectivity control devices.

Feedback Control Law of Solar Sail with Variable Surface Reflectivity at Sun-Earth Collinear Equilibrium Points

Niccolai L.
Primo
Methodology
;
Mengali G.
Secondo
Validation
;
Quarta A. A.
Penultimo
Formal Analysis
;
Caruso A
Ultimo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2020-01-01

Abstract

A solar sail generates thrust without consuming any propellant, so it constitutes a promising option for mission scenarios requiring a continuous propulsive acceleration, such as the maintenance of a (collinear) L1-type artificial equilibrium point in the Sun-[Earth+Moon] circular restricted three-body problem. The usefulness of a spacecraft placed at such an artificial equilibrium point is in its capabilities of solar observation, as it guarantees a continuous monitoring of solar activity and is able to give an early warning in case of catastrophic solar flares. Because those vantage points are known to be intrinsically unstable, a suitable control system is necessary for station keeping purposes. This work discusses on how to stabilize an L1-type artificial equilibrium point with a solar sail by suitably adjusting its lightness number and thrust vector orientation. A full-state feedback control law is assumed, where the control gains are chosen with a linear-quadratic regulator approach. In particular, the numerical simulation results show that an L1-type artificial equilibrium point can be maintained with small required control torques, by using a set of reflectivity control devices.
2020
Niccolai, L.; Mengali, G.; Quarta, A. A.; Caruso, A
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1058664
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