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TWO-BODY MOTION

Orbital Plane

In the orbital plane, the position vector R and the

velocity vector V specify the motion of the satellite,

Two-body Motion: Circular Motion

All of the celestial bodies from a fleck of dust to a supernova are attracted to each other in accordance

with Newton's law of universal gravitation

Fg = GMm/R2 (3-1)

The gravitational force on the Earth orbiting satellite

where

Fg = universal gravitational force between bodies

M, m = mass of the two bodies

G = universal gravitational constant (6.67*10-11 Nm2/kg2)

r = distance between the center of masses of the two bodies

The centrifugal force on the spacecraft is Fc = mV2/R (3-2)

V = velocity of the spacecraft

m = mass of the spacecraft

r = radius from the spacecraft center of mass to the central body center of mass

For steady motion both forces must be balanced, therefore

For circular orbits, Centrifugal force is balanced by Gravitational force, therefore

V = √(MG/R); MG = µ=398,600 km3/s2 (3-3), So V = √(µ/R) (3-4)

Period P = 2π√(R3/µ) (3-5)

General Solution (1)

Kepler's laws of planetary motion are confirmed

and generalized to allow

orbits of any conic section, not just elliptical orbits. (Two-

body motion is often called Keplerian motion)

The sum of the potential energy and kinetic energy of

the orbiting body per unit mass is a constant at all

points in the orbit and is V2/2 - µ/R

General Solution (2)

General Solution (3): Specific Energy

is the total mechanical energy per unit mass or

specific energy of an object in any orbit about a central

body.

The kinetic energy term is V2/2 and the potential

energy term is –µ/ r.

Potential energy is considered to be zero at infinity (∞)

and negative at radii less than ∞.

The total energy of any orbit depends on the semimajor

axis (a) of the orbit only

For a circular orbit a = r and specific energy is –ve, also

for ellipse. Hence for all closed orbits (not trajectories),

the energy is –ve.

General Solution (4): Relative Energy

of Orbit Types

For parabolic orbits a = ∞, and specific

energy is zero; as we will see a parabolic orbit

is a boundary condition between hyperbolas

and ellipses

For hyperbolic orbits. a is negative and

specific energy is positive

At a given radius velocity and specific

energy increase in the following order:

circular, elliptical. parabolic. hyperbolic; total

spacecraft energy increases in the same

order

Additional energy must be added to a

spacecraft to change an orbit from circular to

elliptical. Energy must be removed to change

from an elliptical to a circular orbit

Both adding and removing energy requires a

force on the vehicle and in general that

means consumption of propellant

General Solution (5): Angular

Momentum

Total angular momentum of the orbiting body is a constant equal to the

cross product of the radius and the velocity vectors: H=rxV

Where

H is the angular momentum per unit mass (or specific momentum) and is a

vector quantity. From vector mechanics. the magnitude of H can be

determined by H = rVcos y (3-13)

where

H = magnitude of the specific momentum

r = magnitude of the radius vector (the distance from the spacecraft to the

center of mass of the central body)

V = magnitude of the velocity vector

y = flight path angle (the angle between the local horizontal and the velocity

vector

General Solutions (6)

General Solutions (7)

Specific energy and eccentricity are

related (3-14)

The energy integral (also called the vis-

for the velocity at any point on any conic

orbit) of an orbiting body -------------- (3-15)

For a circle, a = r and ------------------------ (3-16)

For an ellipse, a > 0 and --------------- (3-17)

For a parabola, a = ∞ and ------------------ (3-18)

For a hyperbola, a < 0 and------------- (3-19)

General Solutions (8)

General Solutions (9):

Steps

Define an orbit and discover its type given

only r. V. and y at a point. The steps required

are as follows:

1. Given r and V. the specific energy can be

calculated from Eq. (3-7).

2. With specific energy. the semimajor axis

(a) can be obtained from Eq. (3-8).

3. Given r, V and y, the magnitude of specific

momentum (h) can be obtained from Eq. (3-

13).

4. With h and a, e can be obtained from Eq.

(3-14).

5. From the characteristics of the e, the orbit

type can be determined (the Table).

e and a define a conic orbit. Knowing

these two elements and the orbit type, any

other element can be obtained using

relevant relations.

Exercises (1)

An Earth satellite is in an orbit with a perigee altitude

of 400 km and an eccentricity of 0.6. Find the

following:

(b) the apogee radius

(c) the apogee velocity

(d) the orbit period

(e) the satellite velocity when its altitude is 3622 km

(f) the true anomaly at altitude 3622 km

(g) the path angle at altitude 3622 km

Exercises (2)

The LANDSAT C Earth resources satellite is in a near-polar, near-circular

orbit with a perigee altitude of 917 km, an eccentricity of 0.00 132 and

an inclination of 89.1 deg.

What are the apogee altitude, the orbit period and the perigee velocity?

Solution: 436.3 km, 1.726 h, 7.397 km/s.

==============================================

Two radar fixes on an unidentified Earth orbiter yield the following

positions:

Altitude = 1545 km at a true anomaly of 126 deg

What are the eccentricity, altitude of perigee and semi major axis of the

spacecraft orbit?

Exercises (3)

The Magellan spacecraft was placed in an elliptical

orbit around Venus with a periapsis altitude of 250

km and a period of 3.1 h. What is the apoapsis

altitude?

Solution: h = 7810 km.

==================================

Consider an elliptical Earth orbit with a semi major

axis of 12.500 km and an eccentricity of 0.472.

with a true anomaly of 198 deg?

ORBITAL MECHANICS

CALCULATIONS

Elliptical Orbit Parameter Relationships

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