Passive orbit control for space-based geo-engineering

James D. Biggs, Colin R. McInnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this Note we consider using solar sail propulsion to stabilize a spacecraft about an artificial libration point. It has been demonstrated that the constant acceleration from a solar sail can be used to generate artificial libration points in the Earth-Sun three-body problem. This is achieved by directing the thrust due to the sail such that it adds to the centripetal and gravitational forces. These libration points have the potential for future space physics and Earth observation missions. Of particular interest is the possibility of placing solar reflectors at the L1 artificial libration point to offset natural and human driven climate change. One engineering challenge that presents itself is that these artificial libration points are highly unstable and require active control for station-keeping. Previous work has shown that it is possible to stabilize a solar sail about artificial libration points using variations in both pitch and yaw angles. However, in a practical sense, solar sails are large structures and active control of the sail's attitude is a challenging engineering problem. Passive stabilization of such reflectors is to be investigated here to reduce the complexity of space-based geo-engineering schemes.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1017-1020
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

Fingerprint

ice ridge
libration
Orbits
Orbit
engineering
Engineering
orbits
Solar sails
Earth (planet)
active control
Active Control
Reflector
Climate change
Sun
Propulsion
Spacecraft
solar reflectors
solar propulsion
centripetal force
Physics

Keywords

  • Solar sail propulsion
  • three-body problem
  • libration points
  • passive orbit control
  • geo-engineering

Cite this

Biggs, James D. ; McInnes, Colin R. / Passive orbit control for space-based geo-engineering. In: Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics. 2010 ; Vol. 33, No. 3. pp. 1017-1020.
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Passive orbit control for space-based geo-engineering. / Biggs, James D.; McInnes, Colin R.

In: Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, Vol. 33, No. 3, 05.2010, p. 1017-1020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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