Nikolay Sorokin

Research of radiation pressure and Poynting–Robertson effect influence on geodesic artificial satellites and space debris motion. Space Colonization Journal, Issue 7, 2013.


During space colonization it will be inevitably precision navigation using, that requires non-gravitational effects precise accounting. One of these effects mathematical description – radiation pressure with concomitant Poynting–Robertson effect influence on space objects as artificial satellites and space debris – is examined in this article. Satellite motion is accompanied by the Sun illuminance, with short-time operations in the Earth penumbra and umbra, that influence satellites orbit elements evolution, in particular the semi-major axis. In article it was received shadow empirical formula, well concordant with the most accurate geometrically constructed shadow functions. For the first time it’s produced exact quartic functions comparatively to satellites orbital elements variable to obtain time and angle moments of entry into the shadow and out of it. Apart from direct radiation pressure influence on space objects Poynting–Robertson effect is examined, hindering satellites movement and prevailing comparatively radiation pressure. Prolonged exposure to this effect on satellites or space debris moving is result of its fall on the Earth. Numerically integrating equations of motion we can determine space object existence time in orbit. Article examines geodesic satellites movement, as already ceased to exist for other reasons, and satellites that are observed up to the present time: Echo 2, PAGEOS, GEOS 1, LAGEOS, Etalon 1, Goce. It was appreciated intervals their lives due to exposure to Poynting–Robertson effect. It was also examined space debris microparticles motion with masses from 0.0001 up to 1 kg, consisting of different metals: lithium, aluminum, steel and silver, it was examined its lifetime. Satellites and space debris motion equations were integrated by numerical method using differential equations right parts spline approximation.

Please, see Interactive Issue