CurrentIKAROS

IKAROS to evaluate the performance of the solar power sails. It can become a “hybrid” engine that is combined with photon acceleraion to realize fuel-effective and flexible missions.

HISAKI AKATSUKI

A Solar Sail converts sunlight as a propulsion by means of a large membrane while a Solar "Power" Sail gets electricity from thin film solar cells on the membrane in addition to acceleration by solar radiation. What's more, if the ion-propulsion engines with high specific impulse are driven by such solar cells, it can become a "hybrid" engine that is combined with photon acceleration to realize fuel-effective and flexible missions. To evaluate the performance of the solar power sails, IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) was launched on May 21, 2010 together with the Venus Climate Orbiter, AKATSUKI And IKAROS becomes the world's first solar powered sail craft employing both photon propulsion and thin film solar power generation during its interplanetary cruise.

Name IKAROS
International Designation code 2010-020E
Objectives 1.Extension and deployment of a large membrane
2.Power generation by thin film solar cells
3.Acceleration by a solar sail
4.Acquisition of navigation technology by a solar sail
Launch Date 06:58, May 21, 2010 (JST)
Launch Location Tanegashima Space Center
Launch Vehicle H-IIA-17
Weight about 310 kg
Shape Configuration :
Diameter 1.6m x Height 0.8m
Membrane shape :
14m x 14m square (after deployment)