Solar Physics Division Meeting 2000, June 19-22
Session 2. Corona, Solar Wind, Flares, CMEs, Solar-stellar, Instrumentation, Other
Display, Chair: J. Krall, Monday-Thursday, June 19, 2000, 8:00am-6:00pm, Forum Ballroom

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[2.102] Solar Sail Mission Concepts

H. D. Winter (University of Memphis), D. Alexander (Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Lab.), C. R. McInnes (University of Glasgow, Scotland)

Solar sail technology is fast becoming a viable option for spacecraft propulsion and appears as an enabling technology in many plans for future space physics missions. We have developed a number of novel mission concepts which utilize the full potential of solar sail propulsion. These mission concepts include enhancements to existing ideas, some of which appear in the most recent SEC Roadmap, in addition to a number of new mission ideas.

Each mission considered incorporates a range of sail performance levels which allow an examination of the potential, both near-term and far-term, of attaining the specified mission goals. Two main issues arose from this work:

1) High energy orbits can be readily attained from a relatively small launch vehicle even for low performance sails, significantly reducing costs;

2) Improving technology can enhance a specific mission by either decreasing the travel times and increasing maneuverability, or by increasing the payload mass fraction.

This work was supported by an internal research and development contract from Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract:

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