Marco Bassetto

Marco Bassetto
University di Pisa · Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering

Doctor of Philosophy

About

22
Publications
4,880
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227
Citations
Introduction
I received my Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Pisa in 2019. From January 2020 to June 2021 I was the holder of a scholarship entitled "Dynamic analysis and control of an E-Sail" at the Department of Civil and Industrial Eng. of the University of Pisa, where I have been Research Assistant since July 2021. My research activity is focused on mission design and trajectory analysis of spacecraft equipped with low-thust propulsion systems, e.g. solar or electric sails.

Publications

Publications (22)
Article
The recent successes of demonstration missions based on solar sail technology have paved the way for designing new mission scenarios with propellantless propulsion systems. In this context, the Italian Space Agency has been supporting a preliminary study of Helianthus, an innovative concept of deep-space mission, which is designed to use a solar sa...
Article
This study made use of a shape-based method to analyze the orbital dynamics of a spacecraft subject to a continuous propulsive acceleration acting along the circumferential direction. Under the assumption of a logarithmic spiral trajectory, an exact solution to the equations of motion exists, which allows the spacecraft state variables and flight t...
Article
Full-text available
The Electric Solar Wind Sail (E-sail) is an innovative propellantless propulsion system conceived by Pekka Janhunen in 2004 for use in interplanetary space. An E-sail consists of a network of electrically charged tethers maintained at a high voltage level by an electron emitter. The electrostatic field surrounding the E-sail extracts momentum from...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this paper is to investigate the heliocentric motion of a passively actuated solar balloon placed at a distance of about one astronomical unit from the Sun. The analysis exploits a recent thrust model, according to which a solar balloon undergoes a passive control of its lightness number (that is, the ratio of the generated thrust to the...
Article
Full-text available
A heliogyro is a rotating solar sail with the reflecting surface divided into a number of long and slender blades, which are stiffened by a spin-induced centrifugal force. Each blade can rotate around its own longitudinal axis so as to change the pitch angle and allow the thrust vector to be effectively controlled. The aim of this paper is to analy...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates approximate solutions to the two-dimensional equations of motion of a generalized sail-based spacecraft. A generalized sail is a propellantless propulsion system that produces a continuous thrust the magnitude of which varies with the heliocentric distance as 1/rη, where η is a positive real number that characterizes the pro...
Article
Full-text available
We address the heliocentric in-orbit repositioning problem of an E-sail-based spacecraft that covers a circular parking orbit of given radius, with the assumption that the propulsive acceleration is directed along the Sun-spacecraft line. According to the recent literature, the analysis exploits the possibility of reducing the mathematical problem...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, new analytical solutions to the equations of motion of a propelled spacecraft are investigated using a shape-based approach. There is an assumption that the spacecraft travels a two-dimensional spiral trajectory in which the orbital radius is proportional to an assigned power of the spacecraft angular coordinate. The exact solution t...
Article
Full-text available
The propulsive characteristics of an Electric Solar Wind Sail are usually evaluated using a simplified model in which all the sail tethers are coplanar and form a sort of rigid disk. However, the three-dimensional arrangement of the tethers is fundamental information in the study of the spacecraft performance, and must be accounted for in refined m...
Article
This paper deals with the problem of determining an analytical control law capable of maintaining highly elliptical heliosynchronous polar orbits around Venus. The problem is addressed using the Smart Dust concept, a propellantless propulsion system that extracts momentum from the solar radiation pressure using a reflective coating. The modulation...
Article
The heliocentric transfer of a solar sail-based spacecraft is usually studied from an optimal perspective, by looking for the control law that minimizes the total flight time. The optimal control problem can be solved either with an indirect approach, whose solution is difficult to obtain due to its sensitivity to an initial guess of the costates,...
Article
Full-text available
An Electric Solar Wind Sail is a propellantless propulsion system that gains thrust from the interaction of solar wind particles with a grid of long and charged tethers, which are deployed by spinning the spacecraft about its symmetry axis. In an ideal arrangement, the tethers are all stretched out and the sail takes the shape of a spoked wheel. Ac...
Article
Full-text available
The interaction between electromagnetic waves and matter is the working principle of a photon-propelled spacecraft, which extracts momentum from the solar radiation to obtain a propulsive acceleration. An example is offered by solar sails, which use a thin membrane to reflect the impinging photons. The solar radiation momentum may actually be trans...
Article
The aim of this paper is to evaluate the minimum flight time of a solar sail-based spacecraft towards Earth-synchronous (heliocentric) circular displaced orbits. These are special displaced non-Keplerian orbits characterized by a period of one year, which makes them suitable for the observation of Earth’s polar regions. The solar sail is modeled as...
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Full-text available
This paper deals with the problem of determining the requirements for the maintenance of circular, displaced, non-Keplerian orbits around the Sun by means of a magnetic sail-based spacecraft. The magnetic sail is an exotic propellantless propulsion system that gains thrust from the magnetostatic interaction between the solar wind and an artificial...
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Full-text available
The Electric Solar Wind Sail is an innovative propulsion system that gains thrust from the interaction of the incoming ions from the solar wind with an artificial electric field produced by means of long charged tethers, which are deployed and maintained stretched by rotating the spacecraft around a spin axis. Under the combined interaction between...
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Full-text available
A Smart Dust is a propellantless femtosatellite, with a characteristic side length of a few millimeters and a high value of its area-to-mass ratio. It exploits the solar radiation pressure to create a propulsive acceleration sufficient enough to substantially affect its orbital dynamics. A number of new mission concepts may thus be envisaged, where...
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Full-text available
The Electric Solar Wind Sail is an innovative propulsion system concept that gains propulsive acceleration from the interaction with charged particles released by the Sun. The aim of this paper is to obtain analytical expressions for the thrust and torque vectors of a spinning sail of given shape. Under the only assumption that each tether belongs...
Article
Full-text available
Analytic solutions to continuous thrust-propelled trajectories are available in a few cases only. An interesting case is offered by the logarithmic spiral, that is, a trajectory characterized by a constant flight path angle and a fixed thrust vector direction in an orbital reference frame. The logarithmic spiral is important from a practical point...
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Full-text available
This paper analyzes the locally-optimal heliocentric transfer of a spacecraft propelled by an electric solar wind sail, an innovative propellantless propulsion system that generates a propulsive acceleration exploiting the momentum of solar wind particles. The potentialities of such an advanced thruster are investigated in terms of flight times req...

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