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Invited Article: Electric solar wind sail: Toward test missions

Janhunen, Pekka and Toivanen, P. K. and Polkko, J. and Merikallio, S. and Salminen, P. and Haeggström, E. and Seppänen, H. and Kurppa, R. and Ukkonen, J. and Kiprich, S. and Thornell, G. and Kratz, H. and Richter, L. and Krömer, Olaf and Rosta, Roland and Noorma, M. and Envall, J. and Lätt, S. and Mengali, Giovanni and Quarta, Alessandro and Koivisto, H. and Tarvainen, O. and Kalvas, T. and Kauppinen, J. and Nuottajärvi, A. and Obraztsov, A. (2010) Invited Article: Electric solar wind sail: Toward test missions. Review of Scientific Instruments, 81. American Institute of Physics (AIP). doi: 10.1063/1.3514548. ISSN 0034-6748.

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The electric solar wind sail (E-sail) is a space propulsion concept that uses the natural solar wind dynamic pressure for producing spacecraft thrust. In its baseline form, the E-sail consists of a number of long, thin, conducting, and centrifugally stretched tethers, which are kept in a high positive potential by an onboard electron gun. The concept gains its efficiency from the fact that the effective sail area, i.e., the potential structure of the tethers, can be millions of times larger than the physical area of the thin tethers wires, which offsets the fact that the dynamic pressure of the solar wind is very weak. Indeed, according to the most recent published estimates, an E-sail of 1 N thrust and 100 kg mass could be built in the rather near future, providing a revolutionary level of propulsive performance (specific acceleration) for travel in the solar system. Here we give a review of the ongoing technical development work of the E-sail, covering tether construction, overall mechanical design alternatives, guidance and navigation strategies, and dynamical and orbital simulations.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/106551/
Document Type:Article
Title:Invited Article: Electric solar wind sail: Toward test missions
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Janhunen, PekkaFinnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, FinlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Toivanen, P. K.Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, FinlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Polkko, J.Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, FinlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Merikallio, S.Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, FinlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Salminen, P.SkyTron, Akaa, FinlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Haeggström, E.University of Helsinki, Department of PhysicsUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Seppänen, H.University of Helsinki, Department of PhysicsUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kurppa, R.Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, FinlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ukkonen, J.University of Helsinki, Department of PhysicsUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kiprich, S.National Science Center Kharkov, Institute of Physics and Technology, Kharkov, UkraineUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Thornell, G.Angström Space Technology Center, Uppsala, SwedenUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kratz, H.Angström Space Technology Center, Uppsala, SwedenUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Richter, L.DLR - Institut für RaumfahrtsystemeUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Noorma, M.University of Tartu, Tartu, EstoniaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Envall, J.Tartu Observatory, Toravere, EstoniaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lätt, S.Tartu Observatory, Toravere, EstoniaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mengali, GiovanniUniversity of Pisa, Pisa, ItalyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Quarta, AlessandroUniversity of Pisa, Pisa, ItalyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Koivisto, H.University of Jyväskylä, FinlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Tarvainen, O.University of Jyväskylä, FinlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kalvas, T.University of Jyväskylä, FinlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kauppinen, J.University of Jyväskylä, FinlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Nuottajärvi, A.University of Jyväskylä, FinlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Obraztsov, A.Moscow State University, Moscow, RussiaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:17 November 2010
Journal or Publication Title:Review of Scientific Instruments
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Publisher:American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Keywords:Solar sail, electric Propulsion, sun sail, deep space Exploration, space Propulsion, electroconductive tether
HGF - Research field:other
HGF - Program:other
HGF - Program Themes:other
DLR - Research area:no assignment
DLR - Program:no assignment
DLR - Research theme (Project):no assignment
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > Explorationssysteme
Deposited By: Krömer, Olaf
Deposited On:12 Oct 2016 14:16
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:29

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