eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
SINCE 1952
Proceeding cover
of the estonian academy of sciences
ISSN 1736-7530 (Electronic)
ISSN 1736-6046 (Print)
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Overview of electric solar wind sail applications; pp. 267–278

Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/proc.2014.2S.08

Pekka Janhunen, Petri Toivanen, Jouni Envall, Sini Merikallio, Giuditta Montesanti, Jose Gonzalez del Amo, Urmas Kvell, Mart Noorma, Silver Lätt


We analyse the potential of the electric solar wind sail for solar system space missions. The applications studied include flyby missions to terrestrial planets (Venus, Mars and Phobos, Mercury) and asteroids, missions based on non-Keplerian orbits (orbits that can be maintained only by applying continuous propulsive force), one-way boosting to the outer solar system, off-Lagrange point space weather forecasting, and low-cost impactor probes for added science value to other missions. We also discuss the generic idea of data clippers (returning large volumes of high-resolution scientific data from distant targets packed in memory chips) and possible exploitation of asteroid resources. Possible orbits were estimated by orbit calculations assuming circular and coplanar orbits for planets. Some particular challenge areas requiring further research work and related to some more ambitious mission scenarios are also identified and discussed.



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