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Solar Sails

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by

Roque Hernandez

on 26 May 2014

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Transcript of Solar Sails

Time Line
1600's, Kepler observed comet tails, witch showed the effects of radiation pressure.
1860's Maxwell published his theories on electromagnetic fields and radiation. His theories showed light carried momentum and could exert pressure.
1900's Einstein came up with his theories of relativity, through rearranging we get that ρ=E/c.
1976 first real solar sail technology made at a NASA field branch in California. For a proposed mission to Haley's comet.
2010 optical lift shown through experiments with light foil.
the concepts behind solar sails
Light carries momentum
This momentum can be shown by the equation ρ=E/c (p=momentum E=energy c=speed of light)
Light can therefore push an object
Solar sails use the solar radiation pressure to move.
momentum gained from absorbing and reflecting photons
Steering can be achieved through optical lift potentially.
The forces acting on the sail are very small, but the acceleration is constant.
Solar sails would eventually accelerate to over 200,000 mph
Design
They must be able to reflect great amounts of light
They must be light weight in order to provide a smoother movement .
'parachute' shape sail will collapse under the pressure in space.
most common design are large and square.
Need to be able to withstand launch and deployment
Solar Sails
By Roque Hernandez
solar sails and what they are
Method of propulsion for a space craft
Ultra thin mirrors
And are powered by solar radiation
These two equations are for thesun.
R = distance from the sun
Alpha = the angle from the direction of the light
Reflecting generates a larger force than observing(can be concluded through the use of the equations)
9.08 is the value of perfect reflectance from the suns rays which is 9.08 nano newtons per square meter.
4.54 is the same but for absorbing light.
The dark side is where the support frame is placed
It would travel this way.
Projects
In 2010 JAXA launched IKAROS( 200m spinning squared sail)
7.5 micrometer polymide with LCD panels located on the reflective side( Can be controlled witch allows for control of altitude in orbit)
IKAROS confirmed to have been solar sailing from moment of deployment.
NASA also successfully launched a sail into lower orbit in 2010
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