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Abstract
In this paper we investigate optimal polesitter orbits using hybrid solar sail and solar electric propulsion (SEP). A polesitter is a spacecraft that is constantly above one of the Earth's poles, by means of a continuous thrust. Optimal orbits, that minimize propellant mass consumption, are found both through a shapebased approach, and solving an optimal control problem, using a direct method based on pseudospectral techniques. Both the pure SEP case and the hybrid case are investigated and compared. It is found that the hybrid spacecraft allows consistent savings on propellant mass fraction. Finally, is it shown that for sufficiently long missions (more than 8 years), a hybrid spacecraft, based on midterm technology, enables a consistent reduction in the launch mass for a given payload, with respect to a pure SEP spacecraft.
Original language  English 

Pages  article: AIAA2010 
Publication status  Published  2 Aug 2010 
Event  AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2010  Toronto, Canada Duration: 2 Aug 2010 → 5 Aug 2010 
Conference
Conference  AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2010 

City  Toronto, Canada 
Period  2/08/10 → 5/08/10 
Keywords
 hybrid solar sail propulsion
 solar electric propulsion
 polesitter orbits
 propellant mass fraction
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 1 Finished

VISIONSPACE  VISIONARY SPACE SYSTEMS: ORBITAL DYNAMICS AT EXTREMES OF SPACECRAFT LENGTH SCALE (ERC ADVANCED GRANT)
McInnes, C.
European Commission  FP7  European Research Council
1/02/09 → 30/09/14
Project: Research