Resonant Orbit Locations about Celestial Bodies

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K. A. O'Donnell; P. L. Palmer (2006), JBIS, 59, 15-22

Refcode: 2006.59.15
Keywords: Tesseral harmonics, resonance, epicycle model, celestial body, artificial satellite

A concise, geometric model of satellite motion in tesseral resonance about a rotating primary at arbitrary inclination is summarized. The long periodic, oscillatory motion characteristic of tesseral resonance can significantly affect the accuracy of space missions if not considered at the mission design phase. This model is therefore adapted to develop a software tool capable of predicting the location and strength of such resonances about celestial bodies for use in mission design applications. The output of the mission design tool is then used to compare and discuss the locations of resonant orbits about the Earth, Moon, Mars and Venus for a variety of semi-major axes and inclinations. The implications of these differing resonance distributions for future satellite missions are outlined and limitations of both the resonant orbit model and the software tool are discussed.

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