The electric solar wind sail (E-sail) is a new type of propellantless propulsion system for Solar System transportation, which uses the natural solar wind for producing spacecraft propulsion. The E-sail consists of thin centrifugally stretched tethers that are kept charged by an onboard electron gun and, as such, experience Coulomb drag through the high-speed solar wind plasma stream. This paper discusses a mass breakdown and a performance model for an E-sail spacecraft that hosts a mission-specific payload of prescribed mass. In particular, the model is able to estimate the total spacecraft mass and its propulsive acceleration as a function of various design parameters such as the number of tethers and their length. A number of subsystem masses are calculated assuming existing or near-term E-sail technology. In light of the obtained performance estimates, an E-sail represents a promising propulsion system for a variety of transportation needs in the Solar System.

Electric solar wind sail mass budget model

QUARTA, ALESSANDRO ANTONIO
Secondo
Software
;
MENGALI, GIOVANNI
Ultimo
Writing – Review & Editing
2013

Abstract

The electric solar wind sail (E-sail) is a new type of propellantless propulsion system for Solar System transportation, which uses the natural solar wind for producing spacecraft propulsion. The E-sail consists of thin centrifugally stretched tethers that are kept charged by an onboard electron gun and, as such, experience Coulomb drag through the high-speed solar wind plasma stream. This paper discusses a mass breakdown and a performance model for an E-sail spacecraft that hosts a mission-specific payload of prescribed mass. In particular, the model is able to estimate the total spacecraft mass and its propulsive acceleration as a function of various design parameters such as the number of tethers and their length. A number of subsystem masses are calculated assuming existing or near-term E-sail technology. In light of the obtained performance estimates, an E-sail represents a promising propulsion system for a variety of transportation needs in the Solar System.
Janhunen, P.; Quarta, ALESSANDRO ANTONIO; Mengali, Giovanni
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/208442
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