Article Title

Solar power sail mission of OKEANOS


solar power sail, Trojan asteroid, landing, in-situ analysis, outer solar system, OKEANOS


The solar power sail is an original Japanese concept in which electric power is generatedby thin-film solar cells attached on the solar sail membrane. Japan Aerospace ExplorationAgency (JAXA) successfully demonstrated the world’s first solar power sail technologythrough IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation of the Sun) missionin 2010. IKAROS demonstrated photon propulsion and power generation using thin-filmsolar cells during its interplanetary cruise. Scaled up, solar power sails can generate enoughpower to drive high specific impulse ion thrusters in the outer planetary region. With thisconcept, we propose a landing or sample return mission to directly explore a Jupiter Trojanasteroid using solar power sail-craft OKEANOS (Oversize Kite-craft for Exploration andAstroNautics in the Outer Solar System). After rendezvousing with a Trojan asteroid, alander separates from OKEANOS to collect samples, and perform in-situ analyses in threeproposed mission sequences, including sending samples back to Earth. This paper proposesa system design for OKEANOS and includes analyses of the latest mission.


Tsinghua University Press