Accession Number:

AD0416252

Title:

SATELLITE LIFETIMES IN NEARLY CIRCULAR ORIBTS FOR VARIOUS EARTH-ATMOSPHERE MODELS,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1963-08-01

Pagination or Media Count:

31.0

Abstract:

The effects on Earth-satellite lifetimes of alti tude, orbit-plane inclination, and perturbation forces for close-in, nearly circular orbits were investigated. The lifetimes of two large, heavy satellites were studied. Studies of orbits with initial altitudes of from 75 to 150 n mi show that satellite lifetime increases significantly as the orbit-plane inclination increases toward 90 deg, and that the ratio of change in lifetime to change in orbit-plane inclination increases as the orbital altitude increases. Satellite lifetimes based on an oblate atmosphere model are significantly greater than those based on a spherical atmosphere model for nonequatorial satellites. The combined gravitational attrac tions of the Moon and Sun cause only negligible vars in the lifetimes of the satellites studied. The Earths gravitational field does not directly affect lifetimes but produces orbital motions which, when combined with the atmospheric drag forces, can produce considerable changes in satellite lifetimes. Author

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Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE