A NUMERICAL INVESTIGATION OF LOW ALTITUDE, LOW ECCENTRICITY ORBITS SUSTAINED BY IMPULSIVE THRUST, COTANGENT TRANSFER MANEUVERS.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OHIO SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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The paper presents a numerical investigation of the extension of orbital lifetimes for low altitude, nearly circular orbits through the use of cotangent transfer maneuvers performed by impulsive thrust applications. Lifetime comparisons are made with corresponding continuous thrust lifetimes computed for a circular orbit at 600 thousand feet. The results of the investigation reveal that the impulsively sustained orbit is less efficient than the continuous thrust orbit. A supporting investigation of the drag perturbed transfer orbit revealed significant changes in the impulse requirement, transfer time, and transfer distance when compared to the two-body prediction. Author
- Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry