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- Gravity gradient stabilization is planned for the space station. Torques arise from air-drag since the center of pressure is not the same as the center of mass of the satellite. The magnitude of these torques varies depending upon the orientation of the solar panels. Adjustments are made through the use of CMG's (Control Moment Gyros). In time, if the CMG's saturate, torque must be bled off using thrusters; however, that is undesirable because it expends propellant and contaminates the local environment. The task of the engineer is to design the CMG's to handle the aerodynamic torques and design the configuration of the spacecraft to prevent, if possible, CMG saturation. For this application the long-term atmospheric density trends are of less importance than the rate of change of density within an orbit. In principle, CMG's could be designed for the worst case of maximum solar activity, but the penalty for overdesign is excess mass and cost. In summary, present models are inadequate for this application with the greatest need being a reliable prediction of maximum rates-of-change of density within an orbit.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19870011235.
Accession ID: 87N20668.
Upper and Middle Atmospheric Density Modeling Requirements for Spacecraft Design and Operations; p 41-57.
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