HORIZONTAL AIR-MASS TABLES
NAVAL ORDNANCE TEST STATION CHINA LAKE CA
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The illumination of artificial earth satellites during their motion into the earths shadow is a problem of current interest. For height above the surface greater than 20 km, the tangential solar ray incident on a satellite in a nonabsorbed region of the spectrum is attenuated principally by Rayleigh scattering. The attenuation is a function of the total number of molecules, or, if the molecular weight remains constant, of the air mass along the path of the ray that is tangential to any level, h, above the surface. Tables are given in terms of mass of air and number of molecules for a vertical path originating at h, a horizontal path tangent to h, the horizontal quantities relative to a unit atmosphere, and the rate of change with respect to h. The tables cover an altitude range of 0 to 100 km, calculated for an atmosphere terminated at 200 km. These tables are intended primarily for use above a nominal altitude of 20 km, where refraction, which was not allowed for in the computations, has a negligible effect.
- Unmanned Spacecraft