An Electric Solar Wind Sail (E-sail) is a propellantless propulsion concept that extracts momentum from the high-speed solar wind stream to generate thrust. This paper investigates the performance of such a propulsion system in obtaining the transition from a prograde to a retrograde motion. The spacecraft is assumed to initially trace a circular heliocentric orbit of given radius. This particular trajectory, referred to as Circular Orbit Flip Trajectory (COFT), is analyzed in a two-dimensional mission scenario, by exploiting the capability of a medium-high performance E-sail to change the spacecraft angular momentum vector during its motion in the interplanetary space. More precisely, the paper describes a procedure to evaluate the E-sail optimal performance in a set of COFTs, by calculating their minimum flight times as a function of the sail reference propulsive acceleration. It is shown that a two-dimensional COFT can be generated by means of a simple steering law in which the E-sail nominal plane has a nearly fixed attitude with respect to an orbital reference system, for most of the time interval of the interplanetary transfer.

Circular Orbit Flip Trajectories Generated by E-Sail

Alessandro A. Quarta
Primo
Conceptualization
;
Marco Bassetto
Secondo
Validation
;
Giovanni Mengali
Ultimo
Writing – Review & Editing
2023-01-01

Abstract

An Electric Solar Wind Sail (E-sail) is a propellantless propulsion concept that extracts momentum from the high-speed solar wind stream to generate thrust. This paper investigates the performance of such a propulsion system in obtaining the transition from a prograde to a retrograde motion. The spacecraft is assumed to initially trace a circular heliocentric orbit of given radius. This particular trajectory, referred to as Circular Orbit Flip Trajectory (COFT), is analyzed in a two-dimensional mission scenario, by exploiting the capability of a medium-high performance E-sail to change the spacecraft angular momentum vector during its motion in the interplanetary space. More precisely, the paper describes a procedure to evaluate the E-sail optimal performance in a set of COFTs, by calculating their minimum flight times as a function of the sail reference propulsive acceleration. It is shown that a two-dimensional COFT can be generated by means of a simple steering law in which the E-sail nominal plane has a nearly fixed attitude with respect to an orbital reference system, for most of the time interval of the interplanetary transfer.
2023
Quarta, Alessandro A.; Bassetto, Marco; Mengali, Giovanni
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1222009
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact