Item description for Solar Sailing: Technology, Dynamics and Mission Applications (Springer Praxis Books / Astronautical Engineering) by Colin Robert McInnes...
Since the first edition of this text was published in 1999 and recognised as the definitive reference work on solar sailing, the field has moved on considerably. Therefore, in this timely second edition Colin McInnes presents in this comprehensive technical reference on the subject major revisions and an enlarged chapter on mission applications, based on work performed by the author under contract to the European Space Agency between 1999 and 2003. The text assesses the benefits of solar sailing and comes to the inescapable conclusion that it offers a diverse range of low-cost mission opportunities, many of which are impossible for any other type of conventional spacecraft.
Introducing new ideas for solar sail orbits and mission applications since 1999, the author puts particular emphasis on solar sail orbital dynamics and includes a rigorous analysis of solar radiation pressure. The engineering design of solar sails is discussed in depth, along with practical mission applications.
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ISBN 3540251987 ISBN13 9783540251989
Reviews - What do customers think about Solar Sailing: Technology, Dynamics and Mission Applications (Springer Praxis Books / Astronautical Engineering)?
Ready about! Dec 28, 2004
This is an excellent book on solar sailing. What I like best about it is that it gives not only useful results for several mission application case studies but the means to derive those results for oneself.
The book begins with a history of the topic and some possible applications, as well as some brief comparisons with other forms of propulsion and a couple of important performance metrics (in particular, the characteristic acceleration). Next is a discussion of radiation pressure, where we start by being carefully walked through the calculation of the force on a perfectly reflecting sail. That gets us in the right mood to examine radiative transfer methods, effects of a non-zero area for the solar disc, and solar sail force models for realistic sails.
After that, McInnes discusses solar sail design parameters, sail materials, sail structures, and sail configurations. That includes an excellent introduction to packing, deployment, and control issues.
Now we get to my favorite chapters: solar sail orbital dynamics, for both Keplerian and non-Keplerian orbits (both Sun-centered and planet-centered). The whole point of using solar sails is to make good use of a small but constant thrust, so a main application is to "levitate" the orbit above the Sun or above a planet. McInnes examines the characteristics, controllabilty, and stability of some of these orbits. And he then obtains results for orbits near Lagrange points (both planetary and lunar).
Few books in any field do as good a job at getting the reader up to speed on a topic. A person who has completed this book ought to be able to delve into any of the most recent literature in the field without fear.
The most comprehensive source on solar sailing Nov 11, 1999
"Solar Sailing" is the most comprehensive book yet written on solar sailing. This is suggested by the introduction, which gives the history of solar sailing, discusses the basic principles, summarizes the topics of the rest of the book, and concludes with a rich list of references to further material. What follows are six more chapters that delve into the topics of solar sailing: solar radiation pressure, design, orbital mechanics, non-Keplerian orbits, mission applications, and laser sailing. In addition to being an excellent resource on both basic and advanced solar sailing principles, "Solar Sailing" also provides the very latest information on mission applications which are under study right now in chapter 6, like the Geostorm mission for early detection of geomagnetic storms and the sun-synchronous Mercury orbiter. Chapter 3, in addition to discussing solar sail design, describes several historical solar sail designs, mostly from the race to the moon and Mars proposed for the early 1990's.
Each chapter begins with an introduction to the concepts, then discusses them in increasing detail, starting with basic concepts that a beginner or enthusiast can use, and ending with topics that are useful for a detailed engineering analysis. A Equations are provided at every level, so a reader can immediately begin using the material in the book to study solar sailing for themselves. For example, the chapter on radiation pressure begins with a the history of the topic and quantum and electromagnetic explanations for light pressure. Following this are increasingly detailed discussions of the force acting on a solar sail, ranging from perfectly flat and reflective sails and treating the sun as a point, to radiative transfer methods for treating the sun as a disk-shaped light source and curved sails with imperfect reflection.
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in solar sailing, from beginners to professionals. Although some of the material in this book can be found in other sources, like technical journals, this book organizes the information in a form that is immediately useful, and covers the basics required to understand the more advanced topics.