Long-Period Variations of the Eccentricity Vector Valid also for Near Circular Orbits around a Non-Spherical Body
Authors: Deleflie, Florent; Métris, Gilles; Exertier, Pierre
Source: Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy, Volume 94, Number 1, January 2006 , pp. 83-104(22)
Abstract:This paper studies the long period variations of the eccentricity vector of the orbit of an artificial satellite, under the influence of the gravity field of a central body. We use modified orbital elements which are non-singular at zero eccentricity. We expand the long periodic part of the corresponding Lagrange equations as power series of the eccentricity. The coefficients characterizing the differential system depend on the zonal coefficients of the geopotential, and on initial semi-major axis, inclination, and eccentricity. The differential equations for the components of the eccentricity vector are then integrated analytically, with a definition of the period of the perigee based on the notion of “free eccentricity”, and which is also valid for circular orbits. The analytical solution is compared to a numerical integration. This study is a generalization of (Cook, Planet. Space Sci., 14, 1966): first, the coefficients involved in the differential equations depend on all zonal coefficients (and not only on the very first ones); second, our method applies to nearly circular orbits as well as to not too eccentric orbits. Except for the critical inclination, our solution is valid for all kinds of long period motions of the perigee, i.e., circulations or librations around an equilibrium point.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Email: Florent.Deleflie@obs-azur.fr
Publication date: January 2006