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An analytical description of three-dimensional heliocentric solar sail orbits

Stewart, Brian, Palmer, P and Roberts, M (2016) An analytical description of three-dimensional heliocentric solar sail orbits Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy, 128 (1). pp. 61-74.

10.1007%2Fs10569-016-9740-x.pdf - Version of Record

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This paper introduces a simple analytical approximation to three-dimensional heliocentric solar sail orbits where the only forces considered are solar gravity and solar radiation. The approximation is based upon the previously studied hodograph transformation and provides a description of the inclination, longitude of ascending node and true latitude for a specific set of initial conditions. It is shown that the rotational symmetry of a heliocentric orbit allows this specific solution to be mapped onto a solution with arbitrary initial conditions. The approximation is then compared to the numerical results for a solar sail on an Earth escape trajectory with an area to mass ratio up to twice as high as current technology allows.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering
Authors :
Palmer, P
Roberts, M
Date : 2 November 2016
DOI : 10.1007/s10569-016-9740-x
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Solar sails · Heliocentric orbits · Hodograph · Spherical symmetry
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 28 Feb 2018 11:52
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 19:08

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