Microscopic Approach to Analyze Solar-Sail Space-Environment Effects - Physics > Space PhysicsReport as inadecuate

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Abstract: Near-sun space-environment effects on metallic thin films solar sails as wellas hollow-body sails with inflation fill gas are considered. Analysis ofinteraction of the solar radiation with the solar sail materials is presented.This analysis evaluates worst-case solar radiation effects duringsolar-radiation-pressure acceleration. The dependence of the thickness of solarsail on temperature and on wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum of solarradiation is investigated. Physical processes of the interaction of photons,electrons, protons and helium nuclei with sail material atoms and nuclei, andinflation fill gas molecules are analyzed. Calculations utilized conservativeassumptions with the highest values for the available cross sections forinteractions of solar photons, electrons and protons with atoms, nuclei andhydrogen molecules. It is shown that for high-energy photons, electrons andprotons the beryllium sail is mostly transparent. Sail material will bepartially ionized by solar UV and low-energy solar electrons. For a hollow-bodyphoton sail effects including hydrogen diffusion through the solar sail walls,and electrostatic pressure is considered. Electrostatic pressure caused by theelectrically charged sail-s electric field may require mitigation since sailmaterial tensile strength decreases with elevated temperature.

Author: Roman Ya. Kezerashvili, Gregory L. Matloff

Source: https://arxiv.org/

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