Orbital dynamics of Earth-orbiting particles under perturbing forces

Bindu B. Jagannatha, Victoria L. Coverstone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The work presented in this paper aims to further the research done on evaluating the effects of various perturbing forces on Earth-orbiting particles by using numerical tools and techniques. Colombo et. al.1, 2 studied the orbital dynamics of "smart-dust particles" in orbits lying on the ecliptic plane under the effects of solar radiation pressure (SRP) and drag. The numerical model developed here will expand on that work, but will use Hamiltonian equations of motion instead of Gauss equations. It incorporates perturbations due to SRP, drag, J2 and Moon's gravity, while also accounting for the ecliptic angle. None of the effects are averaged, thus this model can provide optimal initial orbits where the effects of the forces will negate each other to cause minimal changes in orbital elements. Sample Monte-Carlo simulation results are presented. By running the simulation for a large number of points, a set of initial orbital elements conducive to a long lifespan can be determined, not only for Earth-orbiting bodies, but also for lunar satellites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2012
StatePublished - 2012
EventAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2012 - Minneapolis, MN, United States
Duration: Aug 13 2012Aug 16 2012

Publication series

NameAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2012


ConferenceAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMinneapolis, MN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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