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Sailing at the brink - The no-limits of near-/now-term-technology solar sails and SEP spacecraft in (multiple) NEO rendezvous

Ceriotti, Matteo and Viavattene, Giulia and Moore, Iain and Peloni, Alessandro and McInnes, Colin and Grundmann, Jan Thimo (2020) Sailing at the brink - The no-limits of near-/now-term-technology solar sails and SEP spacecraft in (multiple) NEO rendezvous. Advances in Space Research. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.asr.2020.10.017. ISSN 0273-1177.

[img] PDF - Preprint version (submitted draft)

Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0273117720307286?dgcid=rss_sd_all


Near-Earth object (NEO) in-situ exploration can provide invaluable information for science, possible future deflection actions and resource utilisation. This is only possible with space missions which approach the asteroid from its vicinity, i.e. rendezvous. This paper explores the use of solar sailing as means of propulsion for NEO rendezvous missions. Given the current state of sail technology, we search for multiple rendezvous missions of up to ten years and characteristic acceleration of up to 0.10 mm/s². Using a tree-search technique and subsequent trajectory optimisation, we find numerous options of up to three NEO encounters in the launch window 2019-2027. In addition, we explore steerable and throttleable low-thrust (e.g. solar-electric) rendezvous to a particular group of NEOs, the Taurid swarm. We show that an acceleration of 0.23 mm/s2 would suffice for a rendezvous in approximately 2000 days, while shorter transfers are available as the acceleration increases. Finally, we show low-thrust options (0.3 mm/s2) to the fictitious asteroid 2019 PDC, as part of an asteroid deflection exercise.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/140475/
Document Type:Article
Title:Sailing at the brink - The no-limits of near-/now-term-technology solar sails and SEP spacecraft in (multiple) NEO rendezvous
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Ceriotti, MatteoUniversity of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdomhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6819-7178UNSPECIFIED
Viavattene, GiuliaUniversity of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, United KingdomUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Moore, IainUniversity of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, United KingdomUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Peloni, AlessandroUniversity of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdomhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1903-9816UNSPECIFIED
McInnes, ColinUniversity of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United KingdomUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Grundmann, Jan ThimoDLR Bremenhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8809-0981UNSPECIFIED
Date:24 October 2020
Journal or Publication Title:Advances in Space Research
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Keywords:Solar sail; asteroid; near-Earth object; Taurid; low thrust.
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space System Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Space System Technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):Proj. Entfaltungstechnologie . Solar Sail (old), R - Project Mascot (Bus), R - Systemanalyse Raumsegment (old)
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > Systems Engineering and Project Office
Institute of Space Systems > Mechanic and Thermal Systems
Institute of Space Systems > System Analysis Space Segment
Deposited By: Grundmann, Jan Thimo
Deposited On:15 Jan 2021 09:19
Last Modified:25 Oct 2021 03:00

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