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The Upper Atmosphere and its Influence on Satellite Orbits

  • D. G. King-Hele
Part of the COSPAR-IAU-IAG/IUGG-IUTAM book series (IUTAM)

Abstract

The chief variations in upper-atmosphere density are described, and it is shown how each of them affects the orbits of close Earth satellites. The main features discussed are:
  1. 1.

    the irregular variations in density dependent on solar activity, which may cause great changes in a few days, as well as a 27-day recurrence tendency;

     
  2. 2.

    the day-to-night and semi-annual variations in density, which cause nearly-periodic changes in orbits: for the day-to-night variation the period is usually between 2 months and 2 years, while the semi-annual effect leads to maxima of density in April and October, and minima in January and July; and

     
  3. 3.

    the large changes in density during a sunspot cycle, which give rise to a 10-or 11 -year recurrence tendency.

     

The changes in orbital inclination caused by the rotation of the atmosphere are also briefly described.

Keywords

Orbital Period Solar Activity Satellite Orbit Sunspot Cycle Orbital Inclination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. G. King-Hele
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Aircraft EstablishmentFarnborough, HantsEngland

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