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# Orbital Maneuvers and Ground Track

Orbital Maneuvers
In-Plane
Hohmann Transfer
Plane Changes
Ground Track
Two-Line Elements
MAE 155A
NASA Image
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MAE 155A
In-Plane Maneuvers
Any conic orbit can be converted to any other conic orbit by adjusting velocity.
A spacecraft travels on the trajectory defined by its velocity at a point.
orbit 1
orbit 2
AV
2
=V
i
2
+V
f
2
2V
i
V
f
cos o
AV
V
i
V
f
r
Smallest impulse (lowest energy)
transfer occurs when the two
orbits are tangent to each other
o
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MAE 155A
Flight Path Angles
In-plane velocity changes result in a new flight path angle for the orbit.
AV
V
i
V
f
r
o
y
i
=y
f
+o
y
i
= flight pathof initial orbit
y
f
= flight path of final orbit
y
i
y
f
tan y
i
=
e
i
sin0
i
1+e
i
cos 0
i
tan y
f
=
e
f
sin0
f
1+e
f
cos 0
f
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MAE 155A
Hohmann Transfer
The Hohmann transfer is the minimum energy transfer between two coplanar non-
intersecting orbits.
orbit 1
orbit 2
Hohmann
transfer
orbit
AV
1
=V
pt
V
i
AV
2
=V
at
V
f
r
i
r
f
r
pt
,V
pt
=radius , velocity at periapsis of transfer orbit
r
at
,V
at
=radius , velocity at apoapsis of transfer orbit
r
pt
=r
i
r
at
=r
f
AV
1
=impulse at |1
AV
2
=impulse at |2
V
i
=velocity oninitial orbit
V
f
=velocity on final orbit
[1]
[2]
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MAE 155A
Plane Changes
A plane change results when an out-of-plane impulse is applied at the intersection of
the initial and final orbital planes.
AV =2V
i
sin

o
2
)
AV
V
i
V
f
o
AV
2
=V
i
2
+V
f
2
2V
i
V
f
cos o
V
i
=V
f

AV
2
=2V
i
2
2V
i
2
cos o
AV
2
=2V
i
2
1cos o)
but
AV
2
=4V
i
2
sin
2

o
2
)
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MAE 155A
Earth Orbit Parameters
Ascending
Node
Inclination
Reference
Direction
True
Anomaly
Space Vehicle
Longitude of
Ascending Node
Reference
Plane
Argument of
Periapsis
o
D
t
0
There are many models available for
predicting satellite ground track.
Most differ by Earth models and the
treatment of disturbances.
This level of detail is probably not
needed for preliminary design.
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MAE 155A
Two Line Element Set (TLE)
http://celestrak.com/ includes TLE database of many Earth orbiting satellites.
IRIDIUM 8 [+]
1 24792U 97020A 10299.38526309 .00000106 00000-0 30909-4 0 2343
2 24792 86.3922 252.5015 0002489 82.3093 277.8393 14.34217875705502
TLE Line 2 Format:
1 01-01 Line number
2 03-07 Satellite number
3 09-16 Inclination [Degrees]
4 18-25 Right Ascension of the Ascending Node [Degrees]
5 27-33 Eccentricity (decimal point assumed)
6 35-42 Argument of Perigee [Degrees]
7 44-51 Mean Anomaly [Degrees]
8 53-63 Mean Motion [Revs per day]
9 64-68 Revolution number at epoch [Revs]
10 69-69 Checksum (Modulo 10)
o
t
D
0
e
M
0
n
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MAE 155A
Ground Track Prediction
Mean Motion:
Mean Anomaly:
Eccentric Anomaly:
True Anomaly:
Argument of Latitude:
Argument of Longitude:
n=
.
u
a
3
a=
|
u
n
2

1/ 3
M=M
0
+nt t
0
)
E=M+e sin E
tan

0
2
)
=
.
1+e
1e
tan

E
2
)
u=0+o
D=D
0
+o
e
t t
0
)
t
0
=reference time that defines

D
0
, M
0
)
o
e
=Earth rotation rate
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MAE 155A
ECEF Coordinates
The satellite position is then converted from the perifocal plane to Earth-Centered
Earth-Fixed (ECEF) coordinates.
The ECEF reference frame is fixed to the earth and rotates with it.
ECEF X-axis points toward prime meridian and Z-axis lies on Earth's axis of rotation.
r=a1e cos E)=
a1e
2
)
1+e cos0
X =r cos ucosDr sin usin Dcos t
Y =r cosusin D+r sin ucos Dcost
Z=r sin usin t
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MAE 155A
GPS PRN 25 Ground Track
Planet-Fixed Frame Earth-Fixed Frame