Physics Seminar: Solar Sailing

For NYU Community

Presented By: Roman Kezerashvili, Department of Physics, City Tech, CUNY

Principles of a solar sailing of a spacecraft in the near-Sun space environment are discussed. The study of the effects of interaction of the solar radiation with the solar sail materials and the hydrogen fill gas is presented. The purpose of the analysis is to evaluate worst-case solar radiation effects during the spacecraft acceleration by the solar radiation. The diversity of physical processes of the interaction of low- and high-energy photons, electrons and protons with solar sail material's atoms and nuclei, and H2 molecules for sail configurations utilizing metallic thin films as well as inflatable structures are analyzed.