Solar Sail Application with a Proposed Low Earth Orbit Mission Concept

Polat, Halis Can
Tekinalp, Ozan
Solar Sail applications utilizing the advantages of propellant-free and theoretically infinite specific impulse are widely investigated, especially for interplanetary/interstellar and near-Earth asteroid missions and non-Keplerian orbit designs. However, applications regarding to the Low Earth Orbit (LEO), specifically below 700 km, are rarely studied as aerodynamic drag is dominant. This study is aimed to harvest the LEO mission advantages by proposing an elliptical orbit design and control via continuous low thrust. Two-tier mode based control algorithm is employed and maximum energy gain or loss thrust vector control is implemented depending on the phase of the mission, i.e. raising or decreasing. It is shown that the proposed mission orbit and successive low thrust maneuvers are applicable. The results depending on the initial orbit and satellite parameters are also investigated.


Orbit Control of an Earth Orbiting Solar Sail Satellite
Polat, Halis Can; Tekinalp, Ozan (2022-09-01)
A concept for the utilization of solar sail satellite's propellant-free thrust capability at Low earth orbit (LEO) is proposed and its orbit control strategy is analyzed. Thrust vector control of the sail's normal direction is used to harvest the solar radiation pressure for generating the necessary acceleration to change the orbital elements. The required control vector direction is determined with two approaches. The first approach is realized by approximating the Gaussian Variational Equations at the emp...
Attitude and Orbit Control of a Solar Sail Spacecraft for Responsive Operational Concept
Polat, Halis Can; Tekinalp, Ozan; Department of Aerospace Engineering (2021-6-15)
Utilization of the propellant-free thrust capability of Solar Sail Spacecraft (SSS) is addressed. For this purpose, an elliptical orbit with a very low perigee altitude and an apogee altitude high enough to have solar sail acceleration is proposed for Earth observation mission. In the mission part, regional observation tasks are carried out that take place in very Low Earth Orbit region. The orbit maintenance and control are handled in the high altitude regions. The baseline SSS design is accomplished and p...
Attitude Control of Satellites with De-Orbiting Solar Sails
Tekinalp, Ozan (2013-06-14)
Utilization of solar sails for the de-orbiting of satellites is investigated. The satellite orbit is assumed to be equatorial. Proper attitude maneuver is prescribed to utilize highest solar drag from the sun. The maneuver is realized using a quaternion feedback algorithm. The success of the attitude control during the continuous and abrupt maneuvers is shown through simulations. The reduction in semi major axis due to solar drag is also demonstrated.
Numerical simulation of two-dimensional collisionless plasma flows under the effect of electrostatic forces via particle in cell method
Tümüklü, Özgür; Çelenligil, Mehmet Cevdet; Şengil, Nevsan; Department of Aerospace Engineering (2013)
Taking its name from its ability to generate thrust via electricity, the concept of electric propulsion has important space mission applications like station keeping for satellites and deep space probe. However, contamination of plumes in electric propulsion systems with ion beam could hinder communication, and effective neutralization is essential to clear away this predicament. Today, computer simulation is regarded as a powerful tool to investigate plasma behavior in the plumes of electric propulsion dev...
Atas, Omer; Demiral, Ertan; Tekinalp, Ozan (2015-08-13)
Boom deployment vibration analysis is presented for a solar sail 3U Cubesat. The damping of the boom vibration using shape memory alloys is examined. It is found that shape memory alloys do not reduce vibration below a certain level. Vibration damping via inherent friction in the deployment system is also considered. The analysis showed that the vibration may be completely damped due to the inherent friction in the deployment system.
Citation Formats
H. C. Polat and O. Tekinalp, “Solar Sail Application with a Proposed Low Earth Orbit Mission Concept,” 2019, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: