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Orbit-Attitude Changes of Objects in Near Earth Space Induced by Natural Charging

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Technical Report,21 May 2015,21 Feb 2017

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Purdue University West Lafayette United States

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This research investigates the effect of naturally induced Lorentz force perturbations on the orbital evolution of near Earthspace objects. Natural charging of all space objects occurs in the natural space plasma environment. The charging levels are dependent on the local plasma environment, the surface materials of the space object and its geometry capacitance. When the charge is moving relative to the Earth magnetosphere, Lorentz forces are induced. The Lorentz forces are in turn an orbital perturbation force. The emphasis of this research focuses on the low Earth orbital region and geosynchronous region. The charging of a spherical space object and the orbital effects are shown. A full numerical solution of the steady state plasma interactions are derived, for high charging and low charging conditions and low and high area-to-mass ratio objects. In order to speed up computational time, analytic expressions utilizing variational equations have been derived. High charging plasma conditions lead to significant secular perturbations in the investigated cases.

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  • Electricity and Magnetism

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