Epicyclic Motion of Satellites about an Oblate Planet

Yoshikazu Hashida & P L Palmer

In this paper, we present an analytic formulation of a near circular orbit of a
satellite about an axisymmetric potential. The model has a simple analytic form
which is capable of describing all the gravitational perturbative e ects. Unlike more
rigorous treatments, our approach has a simple geometric interpretation and greater
mathematical simplicity than conventional descriptions of the perturbed motion, yet
is suciently accurate to describe the motion of a satellite over its lifetime.
We present the formulation of the orbit, based on epicyclic motion, and show how
all the terms in the geopotential can be incorporated into the same formulation. We
also consider second order e ects arising from the J2 term which provides sucient
accuracy in the modelling for most satellite applications. We present some simulation
results to establish the accuracy of the predictive model over time.

Paper: Oblate Planet

Ref:  Hashida, Y. and Palmer, P.L.,  AIAA J. Guidance, Control & Dynamics, 24, No 3, pp 586-596, 2000.

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