Use of orbiting reflectors to decrease the technological challenges of surviving the lunar night

Russell Bewick, Joan-Pau Sanchez Cuartielles, Colin McInnes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper the feasibility of using lunar reflectors to decrease the technological challenges of surviving the lunar night is investigated. This is achieved by attempting to find orbits in the two-body problem where the argument of periapsis is constantly Sun-pointing to maximise the time spent by the reflectors over the night-side of the Moon. Using these orbits the ability of reflectors of varying sizes to provide sufficient illumination to a target point on the surface is determined for scenarios where a latitude band is constantly illuminated and a scenario where a specific point is tracked. The optimum masses required for these far-term scenarios are large. However, a nearer-term scenario using low altitude orbits suggest that the effective duration of the lunar night can be reduced by up to 50% using a set of 300 parabolic reflectors of 100m radius with a total system mass of 370 tonnes. A system is also demonstrated that will allow a partial illumination of the craters in the Moon’s polar region for a mass up to 700kg.
LanguageEnglish
PagesArticle AIC-11-A5.1.11
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2011
Event62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011 - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 3 Oct 20117 Oct 2011

Conference

Conference62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011
CountrySouth Africa
CityCape Town
Period3/10/117/10/11

Fingerprint

night
reflectors
Orbits
Moon
moon
orbits
Lighting
illumination
two body problem
parabolic reflectors
low altitude
polar region
craters
Sun
polar regions
crater
sun
radii

Keywords

  • lunar reflectors
  • lunar night
  • two body problem

Cite this

Bewick, R., Sanchez Cuartielles, J-P., & McInnes, C. (2011). Use of orbiting reflectors to decrease the technological challenges of surviving the lunar night. Article AIC-11-A5.1.11. Paper presented at 62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, Cape Town, South Africa.
Bewick, Russell ; Sanchez Cuartielles, Joan-Pau ; McInnes, Colin. / Use of orbiting reflectors to decrease the technological challenges of surviving the lunar night. Paper presented at 62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, Cape Town, South Africa.13 p.
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Bewick, R, Sanchez Cuartielles, J-P & McInnes, C 2011, 'Use of orbiting reflectors to decrease the technological challenges of surviving the lunar night' Paper presented at 62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, Cape Town, South Africa, 3/10/11 - 7/10/11, pp. Article AIC-11-A5.1.11.

Use of orbiting reflectors to decrease the technological challenges of surviving the lunar night. / Bewick, Russell; Sanchez Cuartielles, Joan-Pau; McInnes, Colin.

2011. Article AIC-11-A5.1.11 Paper presented at 62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, Cape Town, South Africa.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Bewick R, Sanchez Cuartielles J-P, McInnes C. Use of orbiting reflectors to decrease the technological challenges of surviving the lunar night. 2011. Paper presented at 62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, Cape Town, South Africa.