A preliminary study of the dynamics and control of the cubesail spacecraft

Andrew Pukniel, Victoria Coverstone, John Warner, Rodney Burton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The proposed study addresses two issues related to the slow emergence of solar sailing as a viable space propulsion method. The low technology readiness level and complications related to stowage, deployment, and support of the sail structure are both addressed by combining the CU Aerospace and University of Illinois-developed UltraSail1-5 and Cubesat expertise to design a small-scale solar sail deployment and propulsion experiment in low Earth orbit. The study analyzes multiple aspects of the problem from initial sizing and packaging of the solar sail film into two Cubesat-class spacecraft, through on-orbit deployment dynamics, attitude control of large and flexible space structure, and predictions of performance and orbital maneuvering capability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAstrodynamics 2009 - Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference
Number of pages20
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
EventAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Duration: Aug 9 2009Aug 13 2009

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


OtherAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPittsburgh, PA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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