Attitude control of an earth orbiting solar sail satellite to progressively change the selected orbital element

Ataş, Ömer
Solar sailing is currently under investigation for space propulsion. Radiation pressure from the Sun is utilized to propel the spacecraft. This thesis examines locally optimal steering law to progressively change the selected orbital elements, without considering others, of an Earth centered Keplerian orbit of a cube satellite with solar sail. The proper attitude maneuver mechanization is proposed to harvest highest solar radiation force in the desired direction for such Earth orbiting satellites. The satellite attitude control is realized by developing quaternion feedback controller. The changes of the orbital elements are observed.