Title page for ETD etd-08012012-040127

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author West, Thomas Cato
URN etd-08012012-040127
Title Investigation of a more optimum trajectory than the logarithmic spiral in solar sailing
Degree Master of Science
Department Aerospace Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hassan, Hassan A. Committee Chair
Eades, James B. Jr. Committee Member
  • Space trajectories
Date of Defense 1961-07-05
Availability restricted
A logarithmic spiral trajectory is not the optimum trajectory

for a solar sailing space vehicle. Investigation of the governing

equations showed that the performance of the solar sail depends on

one parameter "a". This parameter "a", defined simply as the

ratio of radial to tangential forces, was seen to be significant

for two reasons: first, the logarithmic spiral is restricted to

values of a == 2√2

; secondly, decreased values of "a"

indicate better performance characteristics. For values of

a < 2√2 E a new trajectory was generated and found to be more

efficient than any logarithmic spiral trajectory.

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