M.Sc. Seminar, Vinayak Vadlamani: "Effect of Poynting-Robertson and Solar Wind Drag on Smart Dust in Space"
Due to breakthrough advances in miniaturization, the scale of spacecraft components can now be reduced to the millimeter scale. Termed as “smart dust”, the concept of spacecraft on a chip promises to enable a novel category of such centimeter-sized spacecraft to be flown in swarms of hundreds or even thousands. One alternative is to exploit perturbations like solar radiation pressure (SRP) for orbit control without using artificial forces thus yielding stable equilibrium solutions that could sustain mission requirements. Previous studies have investigated the effect of Poynting-Robertson and Solar Wind (PRSW) drag for interplanetary dust.
Given similar area-to-mass ratio to smart dust, including Poynting-Robertson and Solar Wind (PRSW) drag could possibly extend the solution space thereby increasing the span of partial or full equilibrium solutions for smart dust devices. The inclusion of PRSW drag in the dynamical model was studied using averaging techniques based on Gauss Variational Equations. The study focused on the dynamical behaviour of the relative perigee-sun angle and its stability as a tool for analyzing long-term evolution. The existence of partial and full equilibria solutions was confirmed and the results are discussed in detail. Some trends with respect to different area-to-mass ratio are also presented.