Thermal imbalance force modelling for a GPS satellite using the finite element method
Abstract
Methods of analyzing the perturbation due to thermal radiation and determining its effects on the orbits of GPS satellites are presented, with emphasis on the FEM technique to calculate satellite solar panel temperatures which are used to determine the magnitude and direction of the thermal imbalance force. Although this force may not be responsible for all of the force mismodeling, conditions may work in combination with the thermal imbalance force to produce such accelerations on the order of 1.e9 m/sq s. If submeter accurate orbits and centimeterlevel accuracy for geophysical applications are desired, a timedependent model of the thermal imbalance force should be used, especially when satellites are eclipsing, where the observed errors are larger than for satellites in noneclipsing orbits.
 Publication:

Spaceflight Mechanics 1991
 Pub Date:
 1991
 Bibcode:
 1991sfm..proc.1243V
 Keywords:

 Finite Element Method;
 Global Positioning System;
 Perturbation Theory;
 Satellite Orbits;
 Thermal Radiation;
 Acceleration (Physics);
 Time Dependence;
 Astrodynamics