Although the concept of solar/laser sailing (referred to hereafter as light sailing) is not new, there are many systems engineering and integration issues that must be addressed before a successful light sailing mission can be conducted. This paper presents a preliminary analysis of some of these important aspects. The effects of incident light pressure angle and a detailed description of the “billowing” sail effect on guidance are addressed. An irradiance model for determining a vectorized delta-v is used for this analysis. Relativistic effects are also considered. Preliminary diffraction analyses of various very large optical components and suggestions for realizable systems are presented. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.
American Institute of Physics