Analysis of Multi-Vane Radiometers in High-Altitude Propulsion
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA PROPULSION DIRECTORATE
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A near-space propulsion system using radiometric forces is notionally developed for the Lockheed HALE-D vehicle. The purpose of the system is to provide wind disturbance compensation for the vehicle operation at 20 km. Experimental results indicate that using a multi-vane configuration increases the force produced per unit mass of the radiometer. Previous numerical studies were implemented to determine the force production of the proposed concept design. The proposed design features in integrated system where multi-vane radiometers line the surface of the vehicle and operate on solar power. The HALE-D vehicle at 20 km requires 40.1 billion sub-vanes, at 26 micrometers in length, covering a total area of 101 square meters in order to produce the necessary 142.1 N of thrust to counter the wind drag. Results are also given for systems at altitudes above 20 km.
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