This paper addresses the problem of investigating promising options for cargo transportation in support of long duration robotic and human planetary missions. Because the propellant consumption plays a major role in these missions, we study stopover cyclers that use solar sails to connect the starting and the target planet periodically. To simplify the problem, circular and coplanar planetary orbits are assumed. Nevertheless, the real optical solar sail characteristics are taken into account and a comparison is established with respect to an ideal sail model. The advantages of stopover cyclers over classic cycler trajectories are obtained in terms of lower departure and arrival velocities, more flexibility in the design of the planet-centered orbit, and the elimination of the hyperbolic rendezvous without introducing propellant penalties. The feasibility of the proposed methodology is established by simulating stopover cyclers toward Mars, Venus, and Jupiter. A thorough investigation of the obtainable performance is given as a function of the solar sail optical parameters.

Solar-Sail-Based Stopover Cyclers for Cargo Transportation Missions

MENGALI, GIOVANNI;QUARTA, ALESSANDRO ANTONIO
2007-01-01

Abstract

This paper addresses the problem of investigating promising options for cargo transportation in support of long duration robotic and human planetary missions. Because the propellant consumption plays a major role in these missions, we study stopover cyclers that use solar sails to connect the starting and the target planet periodically. To simplify the problem, circular and coplanar planetary orbits are assumed. Nevertheless, the real optical solar sail characteristics are taken into account and a comparison is established with respect to an ideal sail model. The advantages of stopover cyclers over classic cycler trajectories are obtained in terms of lower departure and arrival velocities, more flexibility in the design of the planet-centered orbit, and the elimination of the hyperbolic rendezvous without introducing propellant penalties. The feasibility of the proposed methodology is established by simulating stopover cyclers toward Mars, Venus, and Jupiter. A thorough investigation of the obtainable performance is given as a function of the solar sail optical parameters.
2007
Mengali, Giovanni; Quarta, ALESSANDRO ANTONIO
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/173580
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