MOSCOW, 22 APR — RIA Novosti. Cosmic sailboat, able to maneuver without using fuel, as designed by the scientists of the Samara University. Their study first showed the actual applicability of solar sails for long-distance flights. The results were published in the journal Advances in Space Research.
solar sail – a device using motion of the spacecraft, the solar light pressure. Reflected from the mirrored surface of the sail, the photons, like the wind, pushing the ship forward.
experts of the Samara University, noted that the benefits of cosmoplane (as referred to space travel under sail) – a potentially unlimited time and the flight range at a relatively high speed, which is very important for scientific missions. The development of such systems is gaining momentum all over the world, although the idea, according to scientists, is still a matter of much debate and skepticism.
back in 2010, was launched by the Japanese IKAROS satellite, which has been tested deployment of a sail and control it. However, subsequently created the sailing ships never left earth orbit, so it remained unclear whether such devices bear the load, which is characteristic for distant space travel.
to answer this question, experts of the Samara University analyzed how it will affect the motion of the vehicle a real sail, not his ideal model.
“Earlier in the simulation were not taken into account a number of circumstances: for example, that the sail may not reflect the entire incident light that form its surface differs from the ideal plane or the material can age and degrade under the influence of radiation,” explained Professor of the Department of flight dynamics and control systems of Samara University Olga Starinov.
According to the researchers, the calculations indicate that the sail will not burn and will not break during the flight, for example, in the vicinity of the Sun or the orbit of Jupiter. The authors believe that the obtained results allow to move from modelling studies to experiments in space.
Further studies the research team aimed at searching the optimal shape of a sailboat and improving the sail – relief, applying the various coatings and the creation of additional technologies of acceleration.
Samara University is one of the recognized world leaders in space sailing technology. Today, its experts have participated in most national and international projects in this field.