Abstract

An optical wing is a cambered rod that experiences a force and torque owing to the reflection and transmission of light from the surface. Here we address how such a wing may be designed to maintain an efficient thrust from radiation pressure (RP) while also providing a torque that returns the wing to a source facing orientation. The torsional stiffness of two different wing cross-sections is determined from numerical ray-tracing analyses. These results demonstrate the potential to construct a passive sun-tracking, space flight system or a microscopic surface measurement device based on RP force and torque.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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