ON APPROXIMATING A PERIODIC ATMOSPHERIC DRAG FUNCTION FOR SATELLITES BY A PIECEWISE CONSTANT FUNCTION.
NAVAL WEAPONS LAB DAHLGREN VA
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A satellite is affected by periodic drag fluctuations. We approximate the periodic drag by a step function. We calculate the standard deviation in the satellites coordinates due to this approximation. The results permit us to estimate the time over which we may keep the drag coefficient constant so as to achieve any desired degree of signal reduction. We confine ourselves to circular orbits. Numerical results are given for a 90 minute satellite and a drag to gravity ratio of 2 x 10 to the -8th power. Author
- Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry