Solar sail Lyapunov and halo orbits in the Earth-Moon three-body problem

Jeannette Heiligers, Sander Hiddink, Ron Noomen, Colin McInnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Solar sailing has been proposed for a range of novel space applications, including hovering above the ecliptic for high-latitude observations of the Earth and monitoring the Sun from a sub-L1 position for space weather forecasting. These applications, and many others, are all defined in the Sun-Earth three-body problem, while little research has been conducted to investigate the potential of solar sailing in the Earth-Moon three-body problem. This paper therefore aims to find solar sail periodic orbits in the Earth-Moon three-body problem, in particular Lagrange-point orbits. By introducing a solar sail acceleration to the Earth-Moon three-body problem, the system becomes non-autonomous and constraints on the orbital period need to be imposed. In this paper, the problem is solved as a two-point boundary value problem together with a continuation approach: starting from a natural Lagrange-point orbit, the solar sail acceleration is gradually increased and the result for the previous sail performance is used as an initial guess for a slightly better sail performance. Three in-plane steering laws are considered for the sail, two where the attitude of the sail is fixed in the synodic reference frame (perpendicular to the Earth-Moon line) and one where the sail always faces the Sun. The results of the paper include novel families of solar sail Lyapunov and Halo orbits around the Earth-Moon L1 and L2 Lagrange points, respectively. These orbits are double-revolution orbits that wind around or are off-set with respect to the natural Lagrange-point orbit. Finally, the effect of an out-of-plane solar sail acceleration component and that of the Sun-sail configuration is investigated, giving rise to additional families of solar sail periodic orbits in the Earth-Moon three-body problem.
LanguageEnglish
Pages25-35
Number of pages11
JournalActa Astronautica
Volume116
Early online date7 Jun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

Fingerprint

Moon
Orbits
Earth (planet)
Sun
Weather forecasting
Space applications
Boundary value problems
Monitoring

Keywords

  • solar sailing
  • circular restricted three-body problem
  • Earth-Moon problem
  • Lagrange point orbits
  • Lyapunov orbits
  • halo orbits

Cite this

Heiligers, Jeannette ; Hiddink, Sander ; Noomen, Ron ; McInnes, Colin. / Solar sail Lyapunov and halo orbits in the Earth-Moon three-body problem. In: Acta Astronautica. 2015 ; Vol. 116. pp. 25-35.
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abstract = "Solar sailing has been proposed for a range of novel space applications, including hovering above the ecliptic for high-latitude observations of the Earth and monitoring the Sun from a sub-L1 position for space weather forecasting. These applications, and many others, are all defined in the Sun-Earth three-body problem, while little research has been conducted to investigate the potential of solar sailing in the Earth-Moon three-body problem. This paper therefore aims to find solar sail periodic orbits in the Earth-Moon three-body problem, in particular Lagrange-point orbits. By introducing a solar sail acceleration to the Earth-Moon three-body problem, the system becomes non-autonomous and constraints on the orbital period need to be imposed. In this paper, the problem is solved as a two-point boundary value problem together with a continuation approach: starting from a natural Lagrange-point orbit, the solar sail acceleration is gradually increased and the result for the previous sail performance is used as an initial guess for a slightly better sail performance. Three in-plane steering laws are considered for the sail, two where the attitude of the sail is fixed in the synodic reference frame (perpendicular to the Earth-Moon line) and one where the sail always faces the Sun. The results of the paper include novel families of solar sail Lyapunov and Halo orbits around the Earth-Moon L1 and L2 Lagrange points, respectively. These orbits are double-revolution orbits that wind around or are off-set with respect to the natural Lagrange-point orbit. Finally, the effect of an out-of-plane solar sail acceleration component and that of the Sun-sail configuration is investigated, giving rise to additional families of solar sail periodic orbits in the Earth-Moon three-body problem.",
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Solar sail Lyapunov and halo orbits in the Earth-Moon three-body problem. / Heiligers, Jeannette; Hiddink, Sander; Noomen, Ron; McInnes, Colin.

In: Acta Astronautica, Vol. 116, 11.2015, p. 25-35.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Solar sail Lyapunov and halo orbits in the Earth-Moon three-body problem

AU - Heiligers, Jeannette

AU - Hiddink, Sander

AU - Noomen, Ron

AU - McInnes, Colin

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