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SPIN DECAY OF A FLEXIBLE SATELLITE BY STRUCTURAL DISSIPATION OF ENERGY,
TORONTO UNIV DOWNSVIEW (ONTARIO) INST FOR AEROSPACE STUDIES
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This report analyzes the coupling of the rigid-body and elastic modes of motion of a spinning satellite under two conditions of motion 1 wobbling, in which the direction of the spin vector is appreciably different from that of a principal axis of inertia and 2 quasi-steady spin, in which the spin vector nearly coincides with the principal axis of maximum inertia. In the former case, elastic modes are excited into periodic motion, with consequent energy dissipation, even in the absence of an external force field. In the latter case the elastic mode excitation is caused by, and requires the presence of, the external gravity-gradient field. Order-of-magnitude estimates of the rate of energy dissipation and spin decay are presented for both cases for the Alouette 1 satellite. It is concluded that the mechanism studied is not the principal one causing the spin decay of Alouette 1 satellite. Author
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE