On-orbit verification of fuel-free attitude control system for spinning solar sail utilizing solar radiation pressure

Ryu Funase, Yoji Shirasawa, Yuya Mimasu, Osamu Mori, Yuichi Tsuda, Takanao Saiki, Jun'Ichiro Kawaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper introduces a new attitude control system for a solar sail, which leverages solar radiation pressure. This novel system achieves completely fuel-free and oscillation-free attitude control of a flexible spinning solar sail. This system consists of thin-film-type devices that electrically control their optical parameters such as reflectivity to generate an imbalance in the solar radiation pressure applied to the edge of the sail. By using these devices, minute and continuous control torque can be applied to the sail to realize very stable and fuel-free attitude control of the large and flexible membrane. The control system was implemented as an optional attitude control system for small solar power sail demonstrator named IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun). In-orbit attitude control experiments were conducted, and the performance of the controller was successfully verified in comparison with the ground-based analytical performance estimation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1740-1746
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Volume48
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Flexible structure
  • Fuel-free attitude control
  • Liquid crystal thin film device
  • Reflectivity control device
  • Solar radiation pressure
  • Spinning solar sail

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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