In this study, the effects of solar wind on an electric sail (E-sail) are modeled and analyzed using an absolute nodal coordinate formulation (ANCF). First, the thrust of the charged metal tether that makes up the E-sail was analyzed and a model was established. Numerical simulations of a single metal tether were performed. Then, an overall E-sail model was established using the connection matrix, and E-sails subjected to different angular velocities were compared. Simulation results of the ANCF model and a dumbbell model were compared at different angular velocities. The results confirm that with a relatively high angular velocity, the flexible metal chain can be approximately regarded as a rigid body. However, with a small angular velocity, the flexibility of the metal chain cannot be ignored.
Astrodynamics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 13, 2020