Design and applications of solar sail periodic orbits in the non-autonomous Earth-Moon system

Maria Heiligers, Malcolm Macdonald, Jeffrey S. Parker

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Solar sailing has great potential for a range of high-energy and long duration mis-sions in the Sun-Earth system. This paper extends this potential to the non-autonomous Earth-Moon system through the use of a differential correction scheme, and by selecting suitable in-plane and out-of-plane sail steering laws to develop new families of solar sail libration point orbits that are periodic with the Sun’s motion around the Earth-Moon system. New orbits include those that bifur-cate from the natural Lyapunov, halo and eight-shaped orbit families at the first and second Lagrange points. The potential of these orbits is demonstrated by con-sidering the performance of a subset of orbits for high-latitude Earth observations, lunar far-side communications, and lunar South Pole coverage.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2015
EventAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2015 - Colorado, Vail, United States
Duration: 9 Aug 201513 Aug 2015


ConferenceAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • solar sailing
  • earth-moon libration points
  • high latitude observation
  • lunar south pole observation
  • lunar far side observation


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