Orbital evolution of a solar sail around a planet

Jean Paulo Carvalho
2016 unpublished
Solar sails are a type of propulsion that uses solar radiation pressure to generate acceleration. The fundamental goal for any solar sail design is to provide a large, flat reflective film which requires a minimum of structural support mass. In this research is taken into account the non-sphericity of the central body, the perturbation of the third body and the solar radiation pressure to analyze the behavior of the orbit when the artificial satellite is a solar sail around Mercury. We present
more » ... ercury. We present an approach where we show a section of frozen orbits. A set of initial conditions, which may contribute with the scientific missions planned to visit the planet Mercury the next few years, are presented. Frozen orbits were found, i.e. orbits with less variation of the orbital elements. We show that the parameter of the solar sail that depends, among other factors, the mass per unit area contributes to obtain frozen orbits.
doi:10.5540/03.2016.004.01.0017 fatcat:pi7wy4d6vnc3xnlzy3xs5iukvq