Near minimum-time trajectories for solar sails

M. Otten, C.R. McInnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

SOLAR sailing has long been considered for a diverse range of future mission applications. As with other forms of low-thrust propulsion, trajectory optimization has been a focus of development activities. In particular, minimum-time solar-sail trajectories have been obtained by several authors for a range of mission applications. Almost all of these studies have used the Pontryagin principle of the calculus of variations to obtain minimum-time trajectories by the classical, indirect method (see, for example, Ref. 2). The indirect approach provides a continuous time history for the required solar sail steering angles. Only a few studies have used the competing direct approach, which recasts the task as a parameter optimization problem by discretizing the control variables. These studies have used many discrete segments for the sail steering angles to ensure a close approximation to the continuous steering angles provided by the indirect approach and hence a close approximation to the true minimum-time trajectory
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-634
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics
Volume24
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • solar sails
  • control systems
  • guidance systems
  • trajectories

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