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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.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Sep 2014|
|Event||65th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2014) - Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Canada|
Duration: 29 Sep 2014 → 3 Oct 2014
|Conference||65th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2014)|
|Period||29/09/14 → 3/10/14|
- solar sailing
- periodic orbits
- three-body problem
- Earth-Moon trajectories
VISIONSPACE - VISIONARY SPACE SYSTEMS: ORBITAL DYNAMICS AT EXTREMES OF SPACECRAFT LENGTH SCALE (ERC ADVANCED GRANT)
1/02/09 → 30/09/14
Heiligers, J., Hiddink, S., Noomen, R., & McInnes, C. (2014). Solar sail periodic orbits in the Earth-Moon three-body problem. IAC-14-C.1.7. Paper presented at 65th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2014), Toronto, Canada.