Accession Number:

ADA179507

Title:

An Analysis of Geopotential Effects on Satellite Constellations.

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis,

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1986-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

58.0

Abstract:

Current plans for systems to be used for ballistic missile defense sometimes call for using satellites that are placed so as to form a constellation that can continuously monitor specified areas of the Earths surface or direct weapons against attacking missiles and warheads. This study analyzes the relative motion between satellites within such a constellation under gravitational perturbations caused by the Earths equatorial bulge oblateness. Relative motion is calculated using a system of equations which describes the variation of relative orbital elements between two satellites. The cases studied simulate the position of two satellites that are located within a constellation containing ten orbits with ten satellites in each orbit. The orbits investigated were all circular with altitudes ranging from 300 km to 1000 km and inclinations ranging from 40 degrees to 80 degrees. Range between the satellites was oscillatory with deviations from the average range of up to 5 km. The results vary only slightly with changes in orbital inclination or altitude. These results show that the relative motion between satellites in a low altitude constellations caused by the Earths oblateness does not significantly affect the initial geometry of the constellation. Keywords Circular orbits Satellite constellations Satellite networks Spacecraft trajectories Relative motion of spacecraft. Theses

Subject Categories:

  • Geodesy
  • Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE