A magnetic sail is an advanced propellantless propulsion system concept for deep space missions, proposed by Dana Andrews and Robert Zubrin about 30 years ago. The thrust is generated by the electromagnetic interaction between the solar wind charged particles and an artificial magnetic field obtained through a large current-carrying coil made of superconducting material. This paper discusses an up-to-date single-loop magnetic sail thrust model based on the numerical and experimental results obtained in the last decade. In particular, a particle model is initially used to evaluate the performance of a reference configuration in terms of thrust components in a body reference frame. Then, some scaling relationships are used to estimate the magnetic sail performance as a function of the design parameters. The proposed thrust model is used to analyze the minimum-time transfer problem between two circular and coplanar heliocentric orbits. Minimum flight times necessary to complete ephemeris-free Earth-Venus and Earth-Mars transfers are calculated as a function of the magnetic sail characteristic size in a parametric way.

Refined MagSail thrust model for preliminary mission design and trajectory optimization

Bassetto M.
Primo
Conceptualization
;
Quarta A. A.
Penultimo
Formal Analysis
;
Mengali G.
Ultimo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2023-01-01

Abstract

A magnetic sail is an advanced propellantless propulsion system concept for deep space missions, proposed by Dana Andrews and Robert Zubrin about 30 years ago. The thrust is generated by the electromagnetic interaction between the solar wind charged particles and an artificial magnetic field obtained through a large current-carrying coil made of superconducting material. This paper discusses an up-to-date single-loop magnetic sail thrust model based on the numerical and experimental results obtained in the last decade. In particular, a particle model is initially used to evaluate the performance of a reference configuration in terms of thrust components in a body reference frame. Then, some scaling relationships are used to estimate the magnetic sail performance as a function of the design parameters. The proposed thrust model is used to analyze the minimum-time transfer problem between two circular and coplanar heliocentric orbits. Minimum flight times necessary to complete ephemeris-free Earth-Venus and Earth-Mars transfers are calculated as a function of the magnetic sail characteristic size in a parametric way.
2023
Bassetto, M.; Perakis, N.; Quarta, A. A.; Mengali, G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1169045
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