Influence of Earth's shadow on the rotational motion of an artificial satellite perturbed by solar radiation torque
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A semi-analytical approach is proposed to study the rotational motion of an artificial satellite under the influence of the torque due to the solar radiation pressure and taking into account the influence of Earth's shadow. The Earth's shadow is introduced in the equations for the rotational motion as a function depending on the longitude of the Sun, on the ecliptic's obliquity and on the orbital parameters of the satellite. By mapping and computing this function, we can get the periods in which the satellite is not illuminated and the torque due to the solar radiation pressure is zero. When the satellite is illuminated, a known analytical solution is used to predict the satellite's attitude. This analytical solution is expressed in terms of Andoyer's variables and depends on the physical and geometrical properties of the satellite and on the direction of the Sun radiation flux. By simulating a hypothetical circular cylindrical type satellite, an example is exhibited and the results agree quite well when compared with a numerical integration. © 1997 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.