Preliminary Investigation on Carbon Nanotube Membranes for Photon Solar Sails

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G. Vulpetti; S. Santoli; G. Mocci (2008), JBIS, 61, 284-289

Refcode: 2008.61.284
Keywords: Carbon nanotube membranes, monolayer solar sails

Abstract:
This paper is sail-material oriented. Starting from what the sailcraft trajectory equation allows and adding requirements coming from the deep-space telecommunication between sailcraft and ground stations on the Earth (or the Moon), a pathfinder for new materials has been emphasized. Such investigation is not based on some unknown (though desirable) materials, but starts from the latest achievements in the so-called Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Technology. Today, this research in nanotechnology regards materials for future electronics, but one should fairly get materials with characteristic very appropri- ate to ultra-high performance solar-sail propulsion and, at the same time, mitigating problems in deep-space communication between sailcraft and Earth. Sailcraft sail loading stemming from such new materials is carried out.

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