We present the main findings of a dynamical mapping performed in the Low Earth Orbit region. The results were obtained by propagating an extended grid of initial conditions, considering two different epochs and area-to-mass ratios, by means of a singly averaged numerical propagator. It turns out that dynamical resonances associated with high-degree geopotential harmonics, lunisolar perturbations and Solar radiation pressure can open natural deorbiting highways. For area-to-mass ratios typical of the orbiting intact objects, these corridors can be exploited only in combination with the action exerted by the atmospheric drag. For satellites equipped with an area augmentation device, we show the boundary of application of the drag, and where the Solar radiation pressure can be exploited.
Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 23, 2018
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