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Title Improved Atmospheric Density Estimation for ANDE-2 Satellites using Drag Coefficients Obtained from Gas-Surface Interaction Equations
Publication Date
Date Accessioned
Degree MS
Discipline/Department Aerospace Engineering
Degree Level masters
University/Publisher University of Kansas
Abstract A major issue in the process of predicting the future position of satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) is that the drag coefficient of a satellite is generally not precisely known throughout the satellite’s lifespan. One reason for this problem is that as a satellite travels through the Earth’s thermosphere, variations in the composition of the thermosphere directly affect the drag coefficient of the satellite. The greatest amount of uncertainty in the drag coefficient from these variations in the thermosphere comes from the amount of atomic oxygen that covers the satellites surface as the satellite descends to lower altitudes. This percent surface coverage of atomic oxygen directly affects the interaction between the surface of the satellite and the gas through which it is passing. The work performed in this thesis determines the drag coefficients of the ANDE-2 satellites over their life spans by using satellite laser ranging (SLR) data of the ANDE-2 satellites in unison with gas-surface interaction equations. The fractional coverage of atomic oxygen is determined by using empirically determined data and semi-empirical models that attempt to predict the fractional coverage of oxygen relative to the composition of the atmosphere. These drag coefficients are then used to determine the atmospheric densities experienced by these satellites over various days, so that inaccuracies in the atmospheric models can be observed. The drag coefficients of the ANDE-2 satellites decrease throughout the satellites’ life, and vary most due to changes in the temperature and density of the atmosphere. The greatest uncertainty in the atmosphere’s composition occurs at lower altitudes at the end of ANDE-2’s life.
Subjects/Keywords Aerospace engineering; ANDE-2; Atmospheric Density; Gas-Surface Interaction Equations; Satellite Drag Coefficients
Contributors McLaughlin, Craig A (advisor); Chao, Haiyang (cmtemember); Zheng, Zhongquan C (cmtemember)
Language en
Rights Copyright held by the author.
Country of Publication us
Record ID handle:1808/19392
Repository ku
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2020-08-13
Issued Date 2015-12-31 00:00:00

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