Orbit control method for solar sail demonstrator IKAROS via spin rate control

Yuya Mimasu, Tomohiro Yamaguchi, Masaki Nakamiya, Ryu Funase, Takanao Saiki, Yuichi Tsuda, Osamu Mori, Jun'ichiro Kawaguchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


It is well known that the thrust force of the solar sail due to the solar radiation pressure is changed by the orientation of the sail with respect to the Sun direction. Therefore, the orbit of the solar sail can be controlled by changing the attitude of the spacecraft. In this study, we consider the spinning solar power sail IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun), which succeeded to become the world's first flight solar sail in orbit. The IKAROS attitude, i.e. the spin-axis direction is nominally controlled by the rhumb-line control method. By utilizing the solar radiation pressure (SRP) torque, however, we are able to change the direction of the spin-axis only by controlling its spin rate. This is because the spin axis direction relates to the balance between the angular momentum of spinning and the SRP torque. Thus, we can control the solar sail's orbit by controlling the spin rate. The main objective in this study is to construct the orbit control strategy of the spinning solar sail via the spin rate control.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASTRODYNAMICS 2011 - Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event2011 AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, ASTRODYNAMICS 2011 - Girdwood, AK, United States
Duration: 2011 Jul 312011 Aug 4

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


Conference2011 AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, ASTRODYNAMICS 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityGirdwood, AK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Orbit control method for solar sail demonstrator IKAROS via spin rate control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this