The Beryllium Hollow-Body Solar Sail and Interstellar Travel


G.L. Matloff (2006), JBIS59, 349-354

Refcode: 2006.59.349
Keywords: Solar sails, hollow-body solar sails, interstellar travel

Strobl’s 1989 hollow-body solar-sail concept is reexamined for the case of a beryllium sail and hydrogen fill gas. Sail kinematics, structure, and thermal aspects are considered. It is shown that solar-system exit velocities of about 740 km/sec are possible. For the sail configuration examined, a payload of 107 kg requires a sail radius of approximately 542 km. A 30 kg payload requires a sail radius of about 1 km. Various issues are addressed, including sail deflation by diffusion, meteoroid impact, and dust-grain impact. Techniques of sail deployment at the 0.05 AU perihelion of a parabolic solar orbit are discussed.