On J2 short-term orbit predictions in terms of KS elements
Keywords:Analytical Integration, KS Element Equations, Earth's Oblateness, Short-Term Orbit Prediction, Radial Distance.
Sharmaâ€™s singularity-free analytical theory for the short-term orbital motion of satellites in terms of KS elements in closed form in eccentricity with Earthâ€™s zonal harmonic term J2, is improved by using King-Heleâ€™s expression for the radial distance â€˜râ€™ which includes the effect of J2, and is suitable for low eccentricity orbits. Numerical experimentation with four test cases with perigee altitude of 200 km and eccentricity varying from 0.01 to 0.3 for different inclinations is carried out. It is found that the orbital elements computed with the analytical expressions in a single step during half a revolution match very well with numerically integrated values and show significant improvement over the earlier theory. The solution can be effectively used for computation of mean elements for near-Earth orbits, where the short-term orbit perturbations due to J2 play most important role. The theory will be very useful in computing the state vectors during the coast phase of rocket trajectories and flight algorithms for on-board implementation.
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