Averaged Solar Radiation Pressure Modeling for High Area-to-Mass Ratio Objects in Geostationary Space
Space Situational Awareness is aimed at providing timely and accurate information of the space environment. This was originally done by maintaining a catalog of space objects states (position and velocity). Traditionally, a cannonball model would be used to propagate the dynamics. This can be acceptable for an active satellite since its attitude motion can be stabilized. However, for non-functional space debris, the cannonball model would disappoint because it is attitude independent and the debris is prone to tumbling. Furthermore, high area-to-mass ratio objects are sensitive to very small changes in perturbations, particularly those of the non-conservative kind. This renders the cannonball model imprecise in propagating the orbital motion of such objects. With the ever-increasing population of man-made space debris, in-orbit explosions, collisions and potential impacts of near Earth objects, it has become imperative to modify the traditional approach to a more predictive, tactical and exact rendition. Hence, a more precise orbit propagation model needs to be developed which warrants a better understanding of the perturbations in the near Earth space. The attitude dependency of some perturbations renders the orbit-attitude motion to be coupled. In this work, a coupled orbit-attitude model is developed taking both conservative and non-conservative forces and torques into account. A high area-to-mass ratio multi-layer insulation in geostationary space is simulated using the coupled dynamics model. However, the high fidelity model developed is computationally expensive. This work aims at developing a model to average the short-term solar radiation pressure force to perform computationally better than the cannonball model and concurrently have a comparable fidelity to the coupled orbit-attitude model.
Frueh, Purdue University.
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