Geopotential Harmonics of Order 15 and Odd Degree from Analysis of Resonant Orbits.
ROYAL AIRCRAFT ESTABLISHMENT FARNBOROUGH (ENGLAND)
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The authors have analyzed the variations of inclination in 13 satellite orbits as they pass slowly, under the action of air drag, through 15th-order resonance with the geopotential, when successive equatorial crossings are 24 degrees apart and the ground track repeats after 15 revolutions. The size and form of the change in inclination are determined mainly by the values of the geopotential harmonics of 15th order and odd degree, C sub l, 15 and S sub l, 15 with l 15, 17, 19 ... in the usual notation. The analysis gives values of these coefficients up to l 33. Four of the orbits analyzed also yield good values for lumped harmonics of 30th order. The evaluation of individual 30th-order coefficients should be possible when results from a few more resonant orbits have accumulated.
- Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry