Analysis of frozen orbits for solar sails

J. P. S. Carvalho, R. Vilhena de Moraes, A. Elipe, E. Tresaco, A. F. B. A. Prado


The use of propellantless propulsion systems like solar sails in the recent days has attracted the interest for scientific missions. The influence of the radiation pressure on the sail creates an additional force to the dynamics of the problem, and this force which must be taken into account since it may modify greatly the behavior of the orbits. In this communication, we will see how the radiation pressure affects frozen orbits around a planet when the spacecraft is a solar sail, thus on the spacecraft the acting forces are the gravitational field of the planet, the gravitational perturbation due to the Sun (third body effect) and the radiation pressure on the sail.


Celestial mechanics, solar sail, frozen orbit, third-body perturbation

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