Updated Heliostorm Warning Mission : Enhancements Based on New Technology
- Young, Roy M.
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- The Heliostorm (also referred to as Geostorm) mission has been regarded as the best choice for the first application of solar sail technology. The objective of Heliostorm is to obtain data from an orbit station slightly displaced from the ecliptic at or nearer to the Sun than 0.98 AU, which places it twice as close to the sun as Earth's natural L1 point at 0.993 AU. The maintenance of such an orbit location would require prohibitive amounts of propellants using chemical or electric propulsion systems; however, a solar sailcraft is ideally suited for this purpose because it relies solely on the propulsive force from photons for orbit maintenance. Heliostorm has been the subject of several mission studies over the past decade, with the most complete study conducted in 1999 in conjunction with a proposed New Millennium Program (NMP) Space Technology 5 (ST-5) flight opportunity. Recently, over a two and one-half year period dating from 2003 through 2005, NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program (ISTP) matured solar sail technology from laboratory components to full systems, demonstrated in as relevant a space environment as could feasibly be simulated on the ground. Work under this program has yielded promising results for enhanced Heliostorm mission performance. This enhanced performance is achievable principally through reductions in the sail areal density. These reductions are realized through the use of lower linear mass density booms, a thinner sail membrane, and increased sail area. Advancements in sailcraft vehicle system design also offer potential mass reductions and hence improved performance. This paper will present the preliminary results of an updated Heliostorm mission design study including the enhancements incorporated during the design, development, analysis and testing of the system ground demonstrator.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20070032008.
2nd Spacecraft Propulsion Subcommittee Meeting at the 54th JANNAF Joint Prouplsion Meeting; 12-17 May 2007; Denver, CO; United States.
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