In recent years there has been a resurgence of dynamical studies of medium Earth orbit which is subject to instabilities. Luni-solar resonance structure in the region causes a rapid growth in eccentricity of these satellites. There has been work in locating possible graveyard orbits, or long term stable orbits, in this regime. However, much of this work has been on area to mass ratios characteristic of the heavy satellites that inhabit it. In order to understand the stability of graveyard orbits, it is important to understand the stability of space debris. High area to mass ratio objects can be created through dynamics events of space debris including mylar shedding, battery explosions, and collisions of satellites. Our research focuses on the how resonance structure changes with the influence of solar radiation pressure for high area to mass ratio objects. We use the Lyapunov exponents to characterize the instabilities of the region and demonstrate how those instabilities change as a function of area to mass ratio.
AAS/Division of Dynamical Astronomy Meeting
- Pub Date:
- August 2020