Stationary Configurations for Co-orbital Satellites with Small Arbitrary Masses

Authors: Renner, Stéfan1; Sicardy, Bruno2

Source: Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy, Volume 88, Number 4, April 2004 , pp. 397-414(18)

Publisher: Springer

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We derive general results on the existence of stationary configurations for N co-orbital satellites with small but otherwise arbitrary masses mi, revolving on circular and planar orbits around a massive primary. The existence of stationary configurations depends on the parity of N. If N is odd, then for any arbitrary angular separation between the satellites, there always exists a set of masses (positive or negative) which achieves stationarity. However, physically acceptable solutions (mi > 0 for all i) restrict this existence to sub-domains of angular separations. If N is even, then for given angular separations of the satellites, there is in general no set of masses which achieves stationarity. The case N = 3 is treated completely for small arbitrary satellite masses, giving all the possible solutions and their stability, to within our approximations.

Keywords: N body problem; central configurations; co-orbital satellites; relative equilibria

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, 92195 Meudon Cédex, France,, Email: 2: LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, 92195 Meudon Cédex, France

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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