Orbital dynamics of "smart-dust" devices with solar radiation pressure and drag

Colombo, C. and McInnes, C. (2011) Orbital dynamics of "smart-dust" devices with solar radiation pressure and drag. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 34(6), pp. 1613-1631. (doi:10.2514/1.52140)

Colombo, C. and McInnes, C. (2011) Orbital dynamics of "smart-dust" devices with solar radiation pressure and drag. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 34(6), pp. 1613-1631. (doi:10.2514/1.52140)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/1.52140

Abstract

This paper investigates how perturbations due to asymmetric solar radiation pressure, in the presence of Earth shadow, and atmospheric drag can be balanced to obtain long-lived Earth-centered orbits for swarms of microscale “smart-dust” devices, without the use of active control. The secular variation of Keplerian elements is expressed analytically through an averaging technique. Families of solutions are then identified in which sun-synchronous apse-line precession is achieved passively to maintain asymmetric solar radiation pressure. The long-term orbit evolution is characterized by librational motion, progressively decaying due to the nonconservative effect of atmospheric drag. Long-lived orbits can then be designed through the interaction of energy gain from asymmetric solar radiation pressure and energy dissipation due to drag. In this way, the usual short drag lifetime of such higharea- to-mass spacecraft can be greatly extended (and indeed selected). In addition, the effect of atmospheric drag can be exploited to ensure the rapid end-of-life decay of such devices, thus preventing long-lived orbit debris.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Colombo, Camilla and McInnes, Professor Colin
Authors: Colombo, C., and McInnes, C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Publisher:American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
ISSN:0731-5090
ISSN (Online):1533-3884

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