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Invited Article: Electric solar wind sail: Toward test missions
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View: Figures


Image of FIG. 1.
FIG. 1.

Original E-sail concept.

Image of FIG. 2.
FIG. 2.

E-sail specific acceleration as function of thrust for four tether usable tensile strength values. Dashed lines are cases where the tether wire is thinner than . The 10 MPa curve corresponds to current ultrasonically bonded aluminum tether. A system base mass of 10 kg and a voltage of 30 kV are assumed. Dotted horizontal line gives the level of solar gravity at 1 AU for reference (propulsion systems reaching solar gravity acceleration are usually considered very good).

Image of FIG. 3.
FIG. 3.

Currently preferred E-sail concept with centrifugally stabilizing auxiliary tethers and remote units, which contain the auxiliary tether reels and small thrusters for spinup and spin control.

Image of FIG. 4.
FIG. 4.

Schematic top view of one remote unit.

Image of FIG. 5.
FIG. 5.

Four-wire Hoytether made of 25 and aluminum wires by ultrasonic bonding.

Image of FIG. 6.
FIG. 6.

The semiautomatic tether factory (March 10, 2010).

Image of FIG. 7.
FIG. 7.

Two-line Heytether.

Image of FIG. 8.
FIG. 8.

Optimal Earth-Apophis transfer trajectory with E-sail.

Image of FIG. 9.
FIG. 9.

Beginning part of transfer trajectory toward heliopause nose.

Image of FIG. 10.
FIG. 10.

Solar wind density (a) and speed (b), resulting E-sail acceleration (c) and variation relative to its hardware limit (d), over a 10-day period with large solar wind variations (Ref. 17). Density below which is at the hardware limit was . With this choice, at 1 AU the E-sail is driven at maximum power 75% of the time on average.

Image of FIG. 11.
FIG. 11.

Orbit and spinplane orientation of ESTCube-1 relative to Earth’s dipole magnetic field.

Image of FIG. 12.
FIG. 12.

Preliminary structural design of ESTCube-1. The PCB stack from top to bottom: ADCS, CHDS, PL, EPS, and COM.

Image of FIG. 13.
FIG. 13.

Configuration of simple two-mass solar wind test mission, comprising of spacecraft S, dummy mass D, their connecting load-bearing tape tether , another centrifugally stretched tape tether , and provision for testing also a multiline tether .


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Scitation: Invited Article: Electric solar wind sail: Toward test missions