Solar sail halo orbits at the Sun-Earth artificial L1 point

Hexi Baoyin, Colin R. McInnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


Halo orbits for solar sails at artificial Sun-Earth L1 points are investigated by a third order approximate solution. Two families of halo orbits are explored as defined by the sail attitude. Case I: the sail normal is directed along the Sun-sail line. Case II: the sail normal is directed along the Sun-Earth line. In both cases the minimum amplitude of a halo orbit increases as the lightness number of the solar sail increases. The effect of the z-direction amplitude on x- or y-direction amplitude is also investigated and the results show that the effect is relatively small. In case I, the orbit period increases as the sail lightness number increases, while in case II, as the lightness number increases, the orbit period increases first and then decreases after the lightness number exceeds ~0.01.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-171
Number of pages16
JournalCelestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2006


  • halo orbit
  • libration point
  • solar sails
  • guidance systems
  • space travel


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