Analytical and semi-analytical analysis of an artificial satellite's rotational motion

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Zanardi, M. C.
De Moraes, R. V.

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Kluwer Academic Publ


The rotational motion of an artificial satellite is studied by considering torques produced by gravity gradient and direct solar radiation pressure. A satellite of circular cylinder shape is considered here, and Andoyers variables are used to describe the rotational motion. Expressions for direct solar radiation torque are derived. When the earth's shadow is not considered, an analytical solution is obtained using Lagrange's method of variation of parameters. A semi-analytical procedure is proposed to predict the satellite's attitude under the influence of the earth's shadow. The analytical solution shows that angular variables are linear and periodic functions of time while their conjugates suffer only periodic variations. When compared, numerical and analytical solutions have a good agreement during the time range considered.



rotational motion, solar radiation torque, Andoyer variables

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Celestial Mechanics & Dynamical Astronomy. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publ, v. 75, n. 4, p. 227-250, 1999.