First-guess generation of solar sail interplanetary heteroclinic connections

Giorgio Mingotti, Jeannette Heiligers, Colin McInnes

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This work deals with the generation of first-guess interplanetary trajectories
connecting Libration Point Orbits (LPOs) belonging to different restricted three body problems. With the Sun always as first primary, the Earth, Mars and Mercury are assumed as second primary, and their relative models are coupled together with the view of defining heteroclinic connections. On suitable Poincaré sections, solar sail sets are constructed to obtain transit conditions from LPOs of the departure dynamical system to LPOs of the arrival one. Constant attitude solar sails are investigated, assuming spacecraft with limited control capabilities. The preliminary propellant-free transfer trajectories are considered for a range of novel solar sail applications, including a continuous Earth–Mars communication link, an Earth–Mars cargo transport gateway and an opportunity for in-situ observations of Mercury.
Original languageEnglish
PagesPaper IAA-AAS-DyCoSS2-14-15-01
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2014
Event2nd Conference on Dynamics and Control of Space Systems, DyCoSS2 - Rome, Italy
Duration: 24 Mar 201426 Mar 2014


Conference2nd Conference on Dynamics and Control of Space Systems, DyCoSS2


  • interplanetary trajectory design
  • libration point orbits
  • restricted three-body problem
  • heteroclinic connections
  • solar sails
  • Earth-Mars communications relay


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