Frozen orbitsnear constant or beneficially varying orbital parameters
Abstract
If a satellite were experiencing pure 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 twobody motion consist of, but are not limited to: the Earth's oblateness, atmospheric drag, lunarsolar 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 persistent 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.
 Publication:

Ph.D. Thesis
 Pub Date:
 May 1986
 Bibcode:
 1986PhDT........30M
 Keywords:

 Celestial Mechanics;
 Control Stability;
 Earth Orbits;
 Perturbation;
 Analysis (Mathematics);
 Computation;
 Kepler Laws;
 Astrodynamics