Fast Solar Sailing: Astrodynamics of Special Sailcraft by Giovanni Vulpetti

By Giovanni Vulpetti

The variety of sun crusing is especially enormous; it's a absolutely in-space technique of propulsion that are supposed to let us accomplish quite a few project sessions which are actually very unlikely utilizing rocket propulsion, whether nuclear or electrical. speedy and extremely speedy sun sailings are targeted sessions of sailcraft missions, first and foremost constructed merely within the first half the Nineties and nonetheless evolving, in particular after the newest advances in nanotechnology. This booklet describes how one can plan, compute and optimize the trajectories of sailcraft with speeds significantly better than a hundred km/s; such sailcraft will be capable of discover the outer heliosphere, the close to interstellar medium and the sunlight gravitational lens (550-800 astronomical devices) in instances considerably shorter than the span of an ordinary occupation (~ 35 years), simply to cite a number of examples. The clinical curiosity during this form of exploration is massive.

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A good sub-optimal control, close to the optimal one, is β(t) = constant = 0. 2. 30), of a photon-rocket allows evaluating the two factors Wm and mG with sufficient accuracy; as a point of fact, the trajectory profile depends on their product as well. 3. Maximizing ηtot is a complicated problem of system design, of course. The initial thrust acceleration equals ηtot P /(M0 c), whereas mass decreases by P /(M0 c2 ). Because we will compare photon rocket with advanced solar sailing, for simplicity we may assume that the design of the whole propulsion system exhibits ηtot very close to unity.

Some remarks are in order. First, let us note that the propulsion time appears explicitly in the rocket’s speed change. Second, gravity losses, namely, the integral in Eq. 26) cannot be calculated a-priori because one should know the evolution of [R, V], which is not known in general. 26) cannot be computed independently of one another, since additional propellant has to be ejected resulting in a mass-ratio increase. 25). It appears from Eq. , no gravity is present (ideally). In the current framework, it is so.

Koelle, H. H. ) (1961), Handbook of Astronautical Engineering. New York: McGraw-Hill. ASIN: B0000EFZCO, 1867 pages. 11. Loeb, H. , Bassner, H. (1987), Solar and nuclear electric propulsion for high-energy orbits. In IAF Congress, Brighton, UK. 12. , Bond, R. A. (1988), Ultimate performance limits and mission capabilities of advanced ion thrusters. In 20th International Electric Propulsion Conference, Garmisch, Germany. IEPC-88-084. 13. Ruppe, H. O. (1966). Introduction to Astronautics, Vol. 1. New York: Academic Press.

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