Solar sail will allow satellites to be in polar orbit
Orbital satellites are an integral part of the earthly civilization. They perform a lot of functions, without which we can not imagine our life. In order for the satellite to work with maximum effect, it is necessary to choose the optimal orbit for it. So, for example, to monitor the areas of the South or North Pole, satellites have to be taken out to a low polar orbit, so that they can be over the required area in just a few minutes in a single span.
Within the five-year VsionSpace project, ESA studied the mechanics of orbiting satellites to search for non-standard ways of performing space missions. One of the ideas was to find the so-called non-Klepler orbit with the help of solar energy.
How will it look like. But the orbit displays a small, light satellite, equipped with a solar sail and an electric correction motor. The solar sail catches mega-ionized particles (solar wind), which causes the satellite to move. These efforts are supplemented by a low-thrust electric motor, which is powered by small solar batteries built into the sails.
According to ESA experts, this “tandem” will be able to balance the Earth’s and solar gravity and ensure the satellite’s saturation in a tiny orbit around one of the Earth’s poles.