Time-optimal trajectories to circumsolar space using solar electric propulsion

Alessandro A. Quarta, Dario Izzo, Massimiliano Vasile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to explore the capabilities of a solar electric propelled spacecraft on a mission towards circumsolar space. Using an indirect approach, the paper investigates minimum time of transfer (direct) trajectories from an initial heliocentric parking orbit to a desired final heliocentric target orbit, with a low perihelion radius and a high orbital inclination. The simulation results are then collected into graphs and tables for a trade-off analysis of the main mission parameters. Finally, a comparison of the performance between a solar electric and a (photonic) solar sail based spacecraft is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-422
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


  • minimum time trajectories
  • solar electric propulsion
  • circumsolar space exploration

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