### Abstract

A technique for escaping the Earth using a solar sail is developed and numerically simulated. The spacecraft is initially in a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). A sail force control algorithm is derived that continuously orients the sail in three dimensions to maximize the component of sail force along the velocity vector. This approach maximizes the instantaneous rate of increase of the total orbital energy. Trajectories using this strategy are not necessarily minimum-time solutions, but independent analysis has shown that for the realistic order of magnitude of sail acceleration considered here, the solutions obtained are near-minimum-time trajectories. The equations of motion for the trajectory are expressed in modified equinoctial orbital elements, which are well behaved as the trajectory goes from elliptic to hyperbolic during escape. In this preliminary study a spherical gravity model for the Earth is assumed. The gravitational perturbation of the sun is included but atmospheric drag and shadowing effects of the Earth are neglected. No sail angle, sail angle rate, or minimum perigee radius constraints are included. Numerical results confirm that escape does occur, with the escape time highly dependent on the sail acceleration magnitude but relatively independent of the time of year of the deployment.

Original language | English (US) |
---|---|

Pages (from-to) | 628-634 |

Number of pages | 7 |

Journal | Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics |

Volume | 26 |

Issue number | 4 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Jan 1 2003 |

Externally published | Yes |

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### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Control and Systems Engineering
- Aerospace Engineering
- Space and Planetary Science
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Applied Mathematics

### Cite this

*Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics*,

*26*(4), 628-634. https://doi.org/10.2514/2.5091

**Technique for escape from geosynchronous transfer orbit using a solar sail.** / Coverstone, Victoria; Prussing, John E.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

*Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics*, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 628-634. https://doi.org/10.2514/2.5091

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Technique for escape from geosynchronous transfer orbit using a solar sail

AU - Coverstone, Victoria

AU - Prussing, John E.

PY - 2003/1/1

Y1 - 2003/1/1

N2 - A technique for escaping the Earth using a solar sail is developed and numerically simulated. The spacecraft is initially in a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). A sail force control algorithm is derived that continuously orients the sail in three dimensions to maximize the component of sail force along the velocity vector. This approach maximizes the instantaneous rate of increase of the total orbital energy. Trajectories using this strategy are not necessarily minimum-time solutions, but independent analysis has shown that for the realistic order of magnitude of sail acceleration considered here, the solutions obtained are near-minimum-time trajectories. The equations of motion for the trajectory are expressed in modified equinoctial orbital elements, which are well behaved as the trajectory goes from elliptic to hyperbolic during escape. In this preliminary study a spherical gravity model for the Earth is assumed. The gravitational perturbation of the sun is included but atmospheric drag and shadowing effects of the Earth are neglected. No sail angle, sail angle rate, or minimum perigee radius constraints are included. Numerical results confirm that escape does occur, with the escape time highly dependent on the sail acceleration magnitude but relatively independent of the time of year of the deployment.

AB - A technique for escaping the Earth using a solar sail is developed and numerically simulated. The spacecraft is initially in a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). A sail force control algorithm is derived that continuously orients the sail in three dimensions to maximize the component of sail force along the velocity vector. This approach maximizes the instantaneous rate of increase of the total orbital energy. Trajectories using this strategy are not necessarily minimum-time solutions, but independent analysis has shown that for the realistic order of magnitude of sail acceleration considered here, the solutions obtained are near-minimum-time trajectories. The equations of motion for the trajectory are expressed in modified equinoctial orbital elements, which are well behaved as the trajectory goes from elliptic to hyperbolic during escape. In this preliminary study a spherical gravity model for the Earth is assumed. The gravitational perturbation of the sun is included but atmospheric drag and shadowing effects of the Earth are neglected. No sail angle, sail angle rate, or minimum perigee radius constraints are included. Numerical results confirm that escape does occur, with the escape time highly dependent on the sail acceleration magnitude but relatively independent of the time of year of the deployment.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0041743794&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0041743794&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.2514/2.5091

DO - 10.2514/2.5091

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0041743794

VL - 26

SP - 628

EP - 634

JO - Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics

JF - Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics

SN - 0731-5090

IS - 4

ER -