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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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Abstract

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
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Janhunen, PekkaFinnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, FinlandUNSPECIFIED
Toivanen, P. K.Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, FinlandUNSPECIFIED
Polkko, J.Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, FinlandUNSPECIFIED
Merikallio, S.Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, FinlandUNSPECIFIED
Salminen, P.SkyTron, Akaa, FinlandUNSPECIFIED
Haeggström, E.University of Helsinki, Department of PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Seppänen, H.University of Helsinki, Department of PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Kurppa, R.Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, FinlandUNSPECIFIED
Ukkonen, J.University of Helsinki, Department of PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Kiprich, S.National Science Center Kharkov, Institute of Physics and Technology, Kharkov, UkraineUNSPECIFIED
Thornell, G.Angström Space Technology Center, Uppsala, SwedenUNSPECIFIED
Kratz, H.Angström Space Technology Center, Uppsala, SwedenUNSPECIFIED
Richter, L.DLR - Institut für RaumfahrtsystemeUNSPECIFIED
Krömer, OlafOlaf.Kroemer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Rosta, RolandRoland.Rosta (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Noorma, M.University of Tartu, Tartu, EstoniaUNSPECIFIED
Envall, J.Tartu Observatory, Toravere, EstoniaUNSPECIFIED
Lätt, S.Tartu Observatory, Toravere, EstoniaUNSPECIFIED
Mengali, GiovanniUniversity of Pisa, Pisa, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Quarta, AlessandroUniversity of Pisa, Pisa, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Koivisto, H.University of Jyväskylä, FinlandUNSPECIFIED
Tarvainen, O.University of Jyväskylä, FinlandUNSPECIFIED
Kalvas, T.University of Jyväskylä, FinlandUNSPECIFIED
Kauppinen, J.University of Jyväskylä, FinlandUNSPECIFIED
Nuottajärvi, A.University of Jyväskylä, FinlandUNSPECIFIED
Obraztsov, A.Moscow State University, Moscow, RussiaUNSPECIFIED
Date:17 November 2010
Journal or Publication Title:Review of Scientific Instruments
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:81
DOI :10.1063/1.3514548
Publisher:American Institute of Physics (AIP)
ISSN:0034-6748
Status:Published
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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