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Thread: What’s the Best Way to Sail From World to World? Electric Sails or Solar Sails?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    What’s the Best Way to Sail From World to World? Electric Sails or Solar Sails?

    A new study compares two potential means of interstellar exploration, which could have implications for both space exploration and the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.
    The post What’s the Best Way to Sail From World to World? Electric Sails or Solar Sails? appeared first on Universe Today.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    As the question was put above, electric sails or light sails?

    Electric sails are potentially more effective than light sails near most stars
    Manasvi Lingam, Abraham Loeb
    (Submitted on 7 Nov 2019 (v1), last revised 19 Dec 2019 (this version, v3))

    Electric sails are propulsion systems that generate momentum via the deflection of stellar wind particles through electric forces. Here, we investigate the relative merits of electric sails and light sails driven by stellar radiation pressure for F-, G-, K- and M-type stellar systems. We show that electric sails originating near M-dwarfs could attain terminal speeds of ∼500 km/s for minimal payload masses. In contrast, light sails are typically rendered ineffective for late-type M-dwarfs because the radiation pressure is not sufficiently high to overcome the gravitational acceleration. Our analysis indicates that electric sails are better propulsion systems for interplanetary travel than light sails in proximity to most stars. We also delineate a method by which repeated encounters with stars might cumulatively boost the speeds of light sails to ≳0.1c, thereby making them more suitable for interstellar travel. This strategy can be effectuated by reaching ∼10^5 stars over the span of ∼10 Myr.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    And... how to steer a solar sail: rotation.

    Gyro-Control of a Solar Sailing Satellite
    Hendrik Willem Jordaan, Willem Herman Steyn
    (Submitted on 29 Oct 2019)

    Recent successes in the deployment of sails in space have reduced the risk associated with solar sailing missions. The attitude control requirements for a solar sailing mission is low with only slow attitude maneuvers needed to maintain a stable attitude and produce a required solar thrust. Future science missions will require large attitude maneuvers with a fully deployed sail. This article investigates the current options for attitude control on solar sails and proposes a gyro-controlled solar sailing. This concept uses a spinning solar sail to construct a control moment gyroscope capable to produce large torques. Steering laws for performing attitude maneuvers and simulation results are presented which demonstrates the capabilities of such a solution.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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