Invariant relative orbits for satellite constellations: A second order theory

Cairo University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy, Cairo 12613, Egypt
Applied Mathematics and Computation (Impact Factor: 1.35). 01/2006; DOI: 10.1016/j.amc.2006.01.004

ABSTRACT Working with the mean orbit elements, the secular drift of the longitude of the ascending node and the sum of the argument of perigee and mean anomaly are set equal between two neighboring orbits. By having both orbits drift at equal angular rates on the average, they will not separate over time due to the influence of the perturbative effects of the asphericity of the Earth, as is considered in this work. The problem is stated. The expressions for the time rate of change of the longitude of the ascending node and the sum of the argument of perigee and mean anomaly in terms of the Delaunay canonical elements are obtained. The expressions for the second order conditions that guarantee that the drift rates of two neighboring orbits are equal on the average are derived.

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