This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

16 May 2011

Paper: "New applications of the H-reversal trajectory using solar sails"

New applications of the H-reversal trajectory using solar sails

Xiangyuan Zeng, Hexi Baoyin, Junfeng Li, Shengping Gong
(Submitted on 8 Mar 2011)

Advanced solar sailing has been an increasingly attractive propulsion system for highly non-Keplerian orbits. Three new applications of the orbital angular momentum reversal (H-reversal) trajectories using solar sails are presented in this paper: space observation, heliocentric orbit transfer, and collision orbits with asteroids. A theoretical proof for the existence of double H-reversal trajectories (referred to as 'H2RTs') is given, and the characteristics of the H2RTs are introduced before the discussion of the mission applications. A new family of H2RTs was obtained using a 3D dynamic model of the two-body frame. In a time-optimal control model, the minimum period H2RTs both inside and outside the ecliptic plane were examined using an ideal solar sail. Due to the quasi-heliostationary property at its two symmetrical aphelia, the H2RTs were deemed suitable for space observation. For the second application, the heliocentric transfer orbit was able to function as the time-optimal H-reversal trajectory, as its perihelion velocity is circular or elliptic velocity. Such a transfer orbit can place the sailcraft into a clockwise orbit in the ecliptic plane, with a high inclination or displacement above or below the Sun. The third application of the H-reversal trajectory was simulated impacting an asteroid passing near Earth in a head-on collision. The collision point can be designed through selecting different perihelia or different launch windows. Sample orbits of each application were presented through numerical simulation. The results can serve as a reference for theoretical research and engineering design.

Link: Paper reference

Link: Paper [PDF}
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