ESA's ERS remote-sensing satellite will in the course of its mission be required to overfly the same designated regions, following identical flight paths relative to the ground. Attention is given to the means for ensuring that the satellite trajectory's altitudes above the earth surface will also be identical over consecutive passes. An algorithm has been developed which can compute a more stable orbit than those achievable with the prevalent analytical methods. This iterative algorithm computes an optimal initial eccentricity vector which 'freezes' the orbit to the extent that altitude variations are merely 20 percent of the variations typical of analytical perturbation calculus orbits.
Orbital Mechanics and Mission Design
- Pub Date:
- Orbital Mechanics;
- Satellite Control;
- Ers-1 (Esa Satellite);