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Solar Sail Trajectory Analysis with MATLAB

4.0 | 1 rating Rate this file 14 Downloads (last 30 days) File Size: 639 KB File ID: #42073 Version: 1.2

Solar Sail Trajectory Analysis with MATLAB


David Eagle (view profile)


03 Jun 2013 (Updated )

Two-dimensional trajectory analysis of solar sail Earth-to-Venus and Earth-to-Mars missions.

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PDF document and interactive MATLAB script named ss2d_opt.m that can be used to analyze and optimize two-dimensional, heliocentric solar sail trajectories between the orbits of Earth and Venus and between the Earth and Mars. In this script, the heliocentric planet orbits are assumed to be circular and coplanar. The optimal steering angles for minimum transfer time are modeled as piecewise-linear variations as suggested in “Near Minimum-Time Trajectories for Solar Sails”, by Michiel Otten and Colin R. McInnes, AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, Vol. 24, No. 3.
The optimization of these steering angles is performed using the SNOPT nonlinear programming (NLP) algorithm.
This MATLAB script solves the problem of transferring from the Earth’s orbit and arriving at the orbit of either Venus or Mars with the proper distance and velocity. It does not attempt to solve the rendezvous problem between the actual or ephemeris locations of each planet. The ss2d_opt script provides both numerical and graphical information about the trajectory analysis.

MATLAB release MATLAB 8.0 (R2012b)
MATLAB Search Path
Other requirements Requires platform-specific SNOPT mex and support m-files which are available at
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Comments and Ratings (1)
10 Jun 2014 sun Chong

it is very useful, i am studying about the dynamic of solar sail spacecraft. Thanks a lot!

10 Jul 2014 1.1

Added main script (ss2d_opt_64bit.m) that uses the March 17, 2014 version of SNOPT.

12 Feb 2015 1.2

Updated to use the 64 bit version of SNOPT. Estimates departure and arrival calendar dates for Earth-to-Mars missions. PDF document also updated to reflect these changes.

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