Guidance, navigation and control of a very small solar sail
Tutor / director / evaluatorGutierrez Cabello, Jorge Luis
Document typeBachelor thesis
Rights accessOpen Access
With the miniaturization of the electrical components and the advance in aerospace technology, new methods of spatial propulsion have been developed. This thesis project is focused on solar radiation pressure modelling, solar sail kinematics and dynamics and attitude determination and control. Solar sailing is based on the same principle as any conventional propulsion system, Newton's third law. However, solar sails gain momentum from Sunlight photons and thus can provide continuous acceleration. The momentum carried by photons is small and for that reason solar sails must have a large area and be extremely light. Since conventional actuators are not suitable for attitude control in solar sailing, specific methods based on Reflectivity Control Devices (RCDs) have been discussed.