The stability of disposal orbits at super-synchronous altitudes

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An investigation of the stability of super-synchronous disposal orbits using University of Southampton's debris analysis and monitoring architecture for the geosynchronous environment (DAMAGE) is presented. The DAMAGE orbital propagator was used to analyse the influence of the initial perigee, eccentricity, right ascension of ascending node (RAAN) and argument of perigee, and the initial lunar RAAN, on the evolution of disposal orbit perigee over a 200-year period. This propagator includes perturbations arising from low-order gravitational harmonics, third-body influences and solar radiation pressure (SRP). The results of two sensitivity studies are presented. The first evolved 14,112 disposal orbits with initial perigees at the minimum altitude suggested by the IADC guideline, whilst the second study evolved 17,920 disposal orbits with initial perigees from 42,374 to 42,464 km. The studies show that the initial perigee and eccentricity of the disposal orbit are the most important factors for maintaining the orbit above the protected region. Some sensitivity to the initial lunar RAAN, disposal orbit RAAN and argument of perigee was also found. These findings suggest that the IADC guideline specifying a preferred initial perigee is appropriate if it accompanies a guideline for the initial eccentricity of the disposal orbit. © 2003 International Astronautical Federation. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Lewis, H. G., Swinerd, G. G., Martin, C. E., & Campbell, W. S. (2004). The stability of disposal orbits at super-synchronous altitudes. In Acta Astronautica (Vol. 55, pp. 299–310).

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