Accession Number:

AD0261492

Title:

ATMOSPHERIC DRAG ON NON-SPHERICAL ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

SMITHSONIAN ASTROPHYSICAL OBSERVATORY CAMBRIDGE MASS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1961-07-14

Pagination or Media Count:

1.0

Abstract:

The rate of decrease of the anomalistic period of an artificial satellite caused by atmospheric drag depends essentially on the atmospheric density, the effective cross-section of the satellite, its orbital elements, and on an aerodynamic coefficient. An attempt is made to build up an internally consistent picture of the variation of all these quantities, during a period of about two and a half months, by using orbital data from Satellites 1958 Delta 1, 1958 Beta 2, 1958 Epsilon, 1958 Alpha and 1958 Beta 2. For a correct inter-comparison of these data, the diurnal effect of solar activity is taken into account by assuming a suitable model of the earths atmosphere. The first four satellites mentioned are non-spherical to determine the variation of the effective cross-section due to the tumbling a technique is used which produces a good agreement with experimental evidence drawn from sources not directly related to the drag phenomena. Author

Subject Categories:

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE