A report proposes that spacecraft assigned to orbits distant from the Earth be equipped with trim panels that would intercept the solar wind to generate small torques to correct for disturbance torques and thereby help to maintain the spacecraft pointed in the required directions. Paired panels would be placed on the ends of opposing moment arms equidistant from the center of mass of a spacecraft. The angles of the panels would be adjusted by use of servoactuators to control the solar-wind forces on the panels and thereby control the solar-wind-generated torques.

This work was done by Richard K. Barry, Jr., of Goddard Space Flight Center. To obtain a copy of the report, "Spacecraft Solar Wind Trim Panels for Pointing and Disturbance Torque Abatement" access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.nasatech.com/tsp  under the Mechanics category. GSC-14247

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the April, 2000 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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