Eclipse Fractions for Sun-Synchronous Orbits
[Technical Report, Technical Report]
AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CA
Pagination or Media Count:
Eclipse fraction is defined as the fraction of the orbital period that a satellite spends in the earths shadow. This fraction is of great importance to any satellite which depends on a sun energizing unit e.g., solar cell for its electrical power. Sun - synchronous orbits possess unusual eclipsing properties because of the unique orbital characteristic which defines them. The purpose of this study is to determine the characteristics of non-eclipsed sunsynchronous orbits providing they exist and the time history and average value of the eclipse fraction for those orbits which are eclipsed. Comparisons with non-sunsynchronous orbits are made. The effects of atmospheric drag, lunar and solar gravitational fields, injection errors, oblate earth geometry, atmospheric refraction of the suns rays and the eccentricity of the earths orbit are examined. Comparisons with the investigations of other authors are made.
- Celestial Mechanics