Atmospheric drag analysis with the Aeros satellites
Abstract
The approach followed in deriving total gas density at perigee from the orbital decay of the Aeros satellites is described. Numerical integration of the drag force acting on the satellite along the orbit is used in an iterative procedure to compute thermospheric density. The continuously changing value of the product of drag coefficient and effective cross section is kept within the integrand of the drag integral. The variation of the drag coefficient with free molecule flow Mach number and accommodation coefficient is taken into account using the nearest possible approximation of the quasicylindrical satellite which can be treated by classical FMFtheory. A summary of the density results is given. The resulting density agrees on the average with the COSPAR International Reference Atmosphere 1972. Exceptions from this result are shown at southern polar latitudes in an oxygendominated thermosphere.
 Publication:

Journal of Geomagnetism and Geoelectricity
 Pub Date:
 1979
 Bibcode:
 1979JGG....31...63R
 Keywords:

 Aerodynamic Drag;
 Aeronomy;
 Aeros Satellite;
 Atmospheric Density;
 Orbit Decay;
 Aerodynamic Coefficients;
 Gas Density;
 Iterative Solution;
 Perigees;
 Satellite Tracking;
 Thermosphere;
 Astrodynamics