Solar Thruster Sailor (STS) - Index -
- © Frank Ellinghaus -
Roller-Reefing is a technology which combines solar power generation with fuel less attitude control, pointing,
steering and station keeping for solar sail spacecraft and space based solar power satellites and stations.
Another strength of Roller-Reefing devices is, that launching or deploying a large solar sail or large solar cell array is made possible and easy through splitting it into several sail foil panels furled onto sail foil rolls which
are just mounted to their roll holder brackets on the outer rim of the spacecraft structure.
A solar sail spacecraft with Roller-Reefing can carry pretty large solar cell arrays for energy production and serve as a space based solar power station for power generation and/or
use the ample energy available to power electric thrusters as additional propulsion means. The spacecraft becomes a hybrid which produces energy and thrust with the same devices.
The Solar Sail Power Station (SSPS) is an example of a self deploying space based power satellite,
which can deploy more solar cell area in one single launch as the International Space Station carries now (in 2010).
On Earth Roller-Reefing is a convenient way for sailors, to set and reef a sail by furling it on and unfurling it off rollable booms or spars, often with the help of electric motors.
This technology has now been adapted to solar sail spacecraft and power stations.
Roller Reefing was invented (or converted) for solar sail spacecraft by Frank Ellinghaus in a German patent application (DE102005028378A1) for very large space mounted structures
with an Outer-Ring skeleton.
To introduce this technology to smaller, Earth launched solar-sail spacecraft and solar power stations also, the same inventor filed patent applications in Germany, UK and the USA
( DE102005062841B4 , GB000002434345B , US 11/614081 ) regarding a Solar-Sail-Launch-System, consisting of a
System-Launcher and a System-Sail mothership spacecraft with already at launch docked daughter units.