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Interplanetary transfers using solar sails and electric propulsion

Grant number: 07/04232-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2007
Effective date (End): March 31, 2010
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Aerospace Engineering
Principal Investigator:Antônio Fernando Bertachini de Almeida Prado
Grantee:Carlos Renato Huaura Solórzano
Host Institution: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovações (Brasil). São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

From the beginning of space travel, numerous types of propulsion systems, alternative to the original chemical engine, have been proposed. Today the low-thrust engines are a reality and the Deep Space 1 mission launched by NASA in October 1998 demonstrated this concept in practice. Besides, the solar pressure gives the possibility of using another propulsion system of low-thrust, the solar sail. The use of a solar sail is a wonderful prospect for interplanetary travel because no propellant mass is required, but only the weight of the sail. In this work we will use interplanetary transfers with low-thrust, of the power limited (PL) type, for the electric propulsion system. We will consider the following options of direct transfers: Earth-Saturn, Earth-Uranus, Earth-Neptune and Earth-Pluto. Analyzing the advantage and disadvantage of using several electric propulsion system (solar, nuclear, and radioisotope). Besides, the solar sails are applied to the schemes of transfers considering the advantage or disadvantage of using plane or composed sails. An analysis of the possible advantage or disadvantage of the solar sail compared to the electric propulsion system will also be made. In all those studies we will use the Pontriagyn principle of variational calculus to obtain minimum-time trajectories through the indirect optimization method.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
HUAURA SOLORZANO, CARLOS RENATO; BERTACHINI DE ALMEIDA PRADO, ANTONIO FERNANDO; SUKHANOV, ALEXANDER ALEXANDROVICH. Analysis of Electric Propulsion System for Exploration of Saturn. MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS IN ENGINEERING, . (07/04232-2)
HUAURA SOLORZANO, CARLOS RENATO; BERTACHINI DE ALMEIDA PRADO, ANTONIO FERNANDO; SUKHANOV, ALEXANDER ALEXANDROVICH. Outer Planet Missions with Electric Propulsion Systems-Part I. MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS IN ENGINEERING, . (07/04232-2)
HUAURA SOLORZANO, CARLOS RENATO; BERTACHINI DE ALMEIDA PRADO, ANTONIO FERNANDO; SUKHANOV, ALEXANDER ALEXANDROVICH. Analysis of Electric Propulsion System for Exploration of Saturn. MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS IN ENGINEERING, v. 2009, p. 14-pg., . (07/04232-2)

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