Lumped Geopotential Coefficients (C Bar Sub 15,15) and (S Bar Sub 15,15) Obtained from Resonant Variation in the Orbit of Ariel 3.
ROYAL AIRCRAFT ESTABLISHMENT FARNBOROUGH (ENGLAND)
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The orbital inclination of the satellite Ariel 3 unexpectedly decreased early in 1968. This decrease may now be explained as the consequence of a 15th-order resonance with the earths gravitational field. Analysis of the resonance leads to a derivation of lumped values of the harmonic coefficients C bar sub15,15 and S bar sub15,15 appropriate to the inclination 80 degrees and height 500 km of Ariel 3, viz. -19.9 plus or minus 1.2 x 10 to the minus 9th power and -7.7 plus or minus 0.8 x 10 to the minus 9th power respectively. The steady residual decrease in inclination indicates that the average rotational speed of the upper atmosphere at a height of 500 km is only 0.7 times that of the earth. Author
- Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry