Copyright © 2009 Anna D. Guerman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
We study orbital dynamics of a compound solar sail, namely, a Simple Solar Photon Thruster and compare its behavior to that of a common version of sailcraft. To perform this analysis, development of a mathematical model for force created by light reflection on all sailcraft elements is essential. We deduce the equations of sailcraft's motion and compare performance of two schemes of solar propulsion for two test time-optimal control problems of trajectory transfer.