Small-amplitude periodic orbit around sun-earth L1/L2 Controlled by solar radiation pressure

Keita Tanaka, Jun'ichiro Kawaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The L1 and L2 points of the Sun-Earth system attract much attention for various space uses, such as observation and communication. Deploying the spacecraft just on L1/L2 is, however, not convenient, because L1 always overlaps with the Sun as seen from the Earth and L2 is hidden behind the shadow of the Earth. Adopting a small-amplitude periodic orbit around the L1/L2 points is one option to solve this problem. The orbit can be achieved by low continuous maneuvering. The required magnitude of acceleration is at a level that can be managed by solar radiation pressure. Utilizing solar radiation pressure has the possibility of saving maneuvering to keep the spacecraft near a L1/L2 orbit. Acceleration due to solar radiation pressure depends on the surface area of the spacecraft and thus the spacecraft should be equipped with a large flat surface. A spacecraft equipped with a solar sail is appropriate. This paper presents two station-keeping examples of solar sails in the vicinity of SE L1/L2 using acceleration resulting from solar radiation pressure. The orbit control laws are built into the linear system about the equilibrium, and we confirm that they are applicable in the non-linear system through numerical calculation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalTransactions of the Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • L and L of the Sun-Earth System
  • Small-amplitude Periodic Orbits
  • Solar Radiation Pressure
  • Solar Sail

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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