Model of the IKAROS spacecraft, not to scale.
|Launch date||20 May 2010 21:58:22 UTC|
|Carrier rocket||H-IIA 202|
|Launch site||Tanegashima Space Center
|Mission duration||~0.5 years
elapsed: 3 years, 6 months, and 16 days
|Satellite of||The Sun|
|Orbital insertion date||21 May 2010|
|Mass||315 kg (694 lb)|
IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) experimental spacecraft. The spacecraft was launched on 21 May 2010, aboard an H-IIA rocket, together with the Akatsuki (Venus Climate Orbiter) probe and four other small spacecraft. IKAROS is the first spacecraft to successfully demonstrate solar-sail technology in interplanetary space.
The IKAROS probe is the world's first spacecraft to use solar sailing as the main propulsion. It plans to demonstrate four key technologies (comments in parentheses refer to figure):
- Deployment and control of a large, thin solar sail membrane (blue areas numbered 3)
- Thin-film solar cells integrated into the sail to power the payload (black rectangles numbered 4)
- Measurement of acceleration due to radiation pressure on the solar sail
- Attitude control via variable reflectance liquid crystal panels (orange rectangles numbered 2)
The probe's ALADDIN instrument (ALDN-S and ALDN-E) measured the variation in dust density while its Gamma-Ray Burst Polarimeter (GAP) measured the polarization of gamma-ray bursts during its six month cruise.
The square sail, deployed via a spinning motion using 0.5-kilogram (1.1 lb) tip masses (key item 1 in figure at right), is 20 m (66 ft) on the diagonal and is made of a 7.5-micrometre (0.00030 in) thick sheet of polyimide (key item 3 in figure at right). The polyimide sheet had a mass of about 10 grams per square metre, resulting in a total sail mass of 2 kilograms, excluding tip masses, attached panels and tethers. A thin-film solar array is embedded in the sail (key item 4 in figure at right). PowerFilm, Inc. provided the thin-film solar array. Eighty blocks of LCD panels are embedded in the sail, whose reflectance can be adjusted for attitude control (key item 2 in figure at right). The sail also contains eight dust counters on the opposite face as part of the science payload.
|This section is outdated. (December 2012)|
IKAROS spun at 20–25 revolutions per minute and finished unfurling its sail on 10 June 2010. The craft contains two tiny ejectable cameras, DCAM1 and DCAM2. DCAM2 was used to visualise the sail after deployment on 14 July 2010.
Acceleration and attitude (orientation) control were successfully tested during the remaining six month voyage to Venus. On 9 July 2010, JAXA confirmed that IKAROS is being accelerated by its solar sail, and on 23 July announced successful attitude control.
IKAROS continues to spin at approximately 2 rpm, requiring the LCD panels to be cycled at that rate for attitude control.
According to JAXA, IKAROS finished all planned experiments in Dec 2010, but the mission has continued beyond that date "in order to enhance the skill of controlling solar sail." On November 30, 2012, JAXA announced that IKAROS had been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s first solar sail spacecraft between planets, and that its two separated cameras, DCAM1 and DCAM2, had been recognized as the smallest size of a spacecraft flying between planets.
- Solar sail, general information on solar sails
- NanoSail-D2, an American solar sail deployed in LEO in January 2011
- LightSail-1, a private solar sail project of the Planetary Society
- Mori et al. (2009)
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- "宇宙帆船イカロス、お疲れさま…実験終え「人工惑星」に" (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
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- Yano, H.; et al. "COSMIC DUST DETECTION BY THE IKAROS-ARRAYED LARGE-AREA DUST DETECTORS IN INTERPLANETARY SPACE (ALADDIN) FROM THE EARTH TO VENUS". 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2011). Retrieved 14 February 2011.
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- "IKAROS Project". JAXA. 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2010. "The second mission will take place in the late 2010s. It will involve a medium-sized solar power sail with a diameter of 50m, and will have integrated ion-propulsion engines. The destinations of the spacecraft will be Jupiter and the Trojan asteroids."
- Claire M. Umali (Tuesday, 4 May 2010). "Japan tests power of solar sails in deep space". EcoSeed. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
- "Small Solar Power Sail Demonstrator 'IKAROS': Successful Attitude Control by Liquid Crystal Device". Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). 23 July 2010 (JST).
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- "About the confirmation of photon acceleration of "IKAROS" the small solar-sail demonstrating craft". JAXA website press release (Press release) (in Japanese). Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011. "Graph suggests approx 1.1mN force"
- "Small Solar Power Sail Demonstrator 'IKAROS'Successful Attitude Control by Liquid Crystal Device" (Press release). Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). 23 July 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
- "Solar Power Sail Demonstrator "IKAROS"". Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). unknown. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- "IKAROS world record certified!". Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). 30 November 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- "JAXA’s solar spacecraft gets Guinness World Records entry". The Asahi Shimbun. 30 December 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- Kenji Toma et al (2012). "Strict Limit on CPT Violation from Polarization of γ-Ray Bursts". Physical Review Letters 109 (24): 241104. arXiv:1208.5288. Bibcode:2012PhRvL.109x1104T. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.241104.
- Michael Schirber. "Synopsis: Distant Bursts Show no Signs of Predicted Light Rotation". American Physical Society. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- "Strict Limit on CPT Violation from Gamma-Ray Bursts". Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe. December 7, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- Osamu Mori et al. (6 July 2008). "Development of Deployment System for Small Size Solar Sail Mission". 26th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- Osamu Mori et al. (9 July 2009). "First Solar Power Sail Demonstration by IKAROS". 27th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to IKAROS.|
- IKAROS news channel
- IKAROS Project webpage
- Successful Image Shooting by the Second Separation Camera - 28 June 2010 JAXA press release
- Solar Sail Navigation Technology of IKAROS
- Twitter (Japanese)
- JAXA TODAY No. 2