Solar System Escape Mission with Solar Sail Spacecraft within a Framework of post-Newtonian Gravitational Theory

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O. Starinova et al. (2018), JBIS, 71, pp.438-442

Refcode: 2018.71.438
Keywords: Interstellar Mission, Solar Sail Spacecraft, Post-Newtonian Gravitational Theory

The motion of the spacecraft with a solar sail under the action of the force of gravity of the Sun and the force of light pressure is considered. The force of gravity can be described in terms of the post Newtonian field theory of gravitation. We suppose that the solar sail has a planar and perfectly reflecting surface, the normal to the sail’s surface lies in the plane of motion, and the spacecraft has a planar heliocentric orbit. We consider the problem of achieving the spacecraft maximum total energy at a given time of flight. The initial phase coordinates of the spacecraft are the averaged heliocentric coordinates of the Earth. The spacecraft control is performed by changing the pitch angle between the normal vector to the surface of the solar sail and the radial direction. An optimal control is obtained in an analytical form using the Pontryagin’s maximum principle, under the assumption, that the plane of the movement of the spacecraft is normal to the axis of rotation of the Sun.

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