Gossamer roadmap technology reference study for a solar polar mission

Malcolm Macdonald, Ciara McGrath, T Appourchaux, B. Dachwald, W Finsterle, L Gizon, P.C. Liewer, Colin McInnes, Giovanni Mengali, W. Seboldt, T Sekii, S.K. Solanki, M Velli, R.F. Wimmer-Schweingruber, Peter Spietz, Ruedeger Reinhard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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A technology reference study for a solar polar mission is presented. The study uses novel analytical methods to quantify the mission design space including the required sail performance to achieve a given solar polar observation angle within a given timeframe and thus to derive mass allocations for the remaining spacecraft sub-systems, that is excluding the solar sail sub-system. A parametric, bottom-up, system mass budget analysis is then used to establish the required sail technology to deliver a range of science payloads, and to establish where such payloads can be delivered to within a given timeframe. It is found that a solar polar mission requires a solar sail of side-length 100 – 125 m to deliver a ‘sufficient value’ minimum science payload, and that a 2. 5μm sail film substrate is typically required, however the design is much less sensitive to the boom specific mass.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Solar Sailing
EditorsMalcolm Macdonald
Place of PublicationGermany
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Event3rd International Symposium on Solar Sailing - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jun 201313 Jun 2013

Publication series

NameSpringer Praxis Books: Astronautical Engineering
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg


Conference3rd International Symposium on Solar Sailing
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • gossamer roadmap technology
  • space weather
  • solar polar mission
  • solar sailing
  • space science
  • advanced propulsion
  • advanced space concepts
  • space technology


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