Frozen Orbits-Near Constant or Beneficially Varying Orbital Parameters.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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If a satellite were experiencing pur Keplerian motion its orbital elements would remain constant. In actuality, each orbiting body is acted upon by various perturbing forces. Consequently, the orbital elements are continuously subject to change. The forces generating deviation from basic two-body motion consist of, but are not limited to the Earths oblateness, atmospheric drag, lunar-solar gravitation, and solar radiation pressure. Whereas the magnitudes of such perturbing forces are small and varying compared to the gravity effects of the Earth, they are presistent and cause the resulting orbit to depart from its Keplerian counterpart. The variation of the five orbital elements which delineate the size, shape, and orientation of an elliptic orbit, can be determined with reasonable accuracy from existing theory. An understanding of disturbed orbital behavior permits possible control of the elements and exploitation of the inevitable physical effects of perturbations. This thesis provides physical understanding, theories, and mathematical formulations for different types of frozen orbits. Included in the frozen orbit concept are minimum altitude variation arcs, various categories of low Earth orbits such as Sun synchronous, and geosynchronous orbits. This study serves as a readily accessible and useful source of information on Earth orbiting satellites which have near constant or beneficially varying orbital parameters.
- Celestial Mechanics
- Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry