L.Garde solar sails utilize a unique “stripe net” architecture to achieve unparalleled system performance. L.Garde has ground deployed 83m2 and 318m2 solar sails in vacuum at NASA facilities. The deployment was carried out using four independently-controlled Sub-Tg conically-deployed composite booms specifically formulated and designed for ISPSS Program.
L.Garde has deployed a 300m2 quadrant of the Sunjammer solar sail (1200m2) solar sail. These structures are some of the largest space systems every deployed. L.Garde solar sails offer many potential game-changing mission capabilities including the following:
- Debris collection and removal from orbit. Debris can be captured and removed from orbit over a period of years using the small solar-sail thrust.
- De-orbit of spent satellites. Solar sails can be integrated into satellite payloads so that the satellite can be de-orbited at the end of its mission.
- Creating pseudo-Lagrange points by cancelling some solar gravitational pull with the sails. As an example, the GeoStorm project considers locating solar storm warning satellites three times further from the Earth increasing warning time from 15 minutes to 45 minutes.
- Providing synchronous satellites at non-equatorial latitudes, such as the “pole-sitter” project. This allows the northern and southern latitudes to gain the advantages of synchronous satellites.
- Providing deep space propulsion. Payloads free of the Earth’s pull can be accelerated to the other planets, or out of the solar system, such as those proposed for Project Encounter.