Accession Number:

AD0683077

Title:

AIR DENSITY AT HEIGHTS BETWEEN 130 AND 160 km, FROM ANALYSIS OF THE ORBIT OF 1968-59B.

Descriptive Note:

Technical rept.,

Corporate Author:

ROYAL AIRCRAFT ESTABLISHMENT FARNBOROUGH (ENGLAND)

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1968-10-01

Pagination or Media Count:

25.0

Abstract:

The satellite 1968-59B was a heavy sphere, of mass 272 kg and diameter 0.61 m, launched by the United States Air Force on 11 July 1968 into a polar orbit with an initial perigee height of 150 km. Despite the low perigee, the satellite remained in orbit for 38 days because of its exceptionally large massarea ratio, and offers the opportunity of finding values of air density at heights lower than has been possible in previous studies of satellite orbits. Analysis of the orbit gives 28 values of air density, which show that the density increased from 1.49 x 10 to the -9th power kgcu meters at a height of 155 km to 7.9 x 10 to the -9th power kgcu meters at 130 km height. These values are in surprisingly good agreement with the COSPAR International Reference Atmosphere 1965, being about 9 lower than CIRA. When the values of density are converted to a fixed height near 150 km, the day-to-day variations are found to be remarkably smooth between 12 July and 13 August, the deviations from the mean being less than 4 but there was a significant increase in density at the time of the increased solar activity centered at 15 August. Author

Subject Categories:

  • Atmospheric Physics
  • Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE