FOREWORD The Slowenian-Austrian engineer Herman Potocnik (1892–1929) has probably never dreamt that his concept of the geostationary orbit would become a great success in the space age. In 1929, he published under the pseudonym Hermann Noordung, the book “Das Problem der Befahrung des Weltraums – Der Raketen Motor”, where he described a space station in the geostationary orbit for meteorological observations. In 1945, Arthur C. Clarke, familiar with the work of H. Potocnik, published the well-known article “Extra-Terrestrial Relays” in the journal “Wireless World”, where he explained the advantages of geostationary satellites for communication. Currently, about 300 operational spacecraft for telecommunication, navigation, meteorol- ogy, Earth observation, Earth surveillance and space science take advantage of the properties of this unique orbit. The ideal geostationary orbit is circular, lies in the plane of the Earth’s equator and completes one revolution in one sidereal day (1436.1 min). Because of the pres- ence of various types of perturbations, the ideal geostationary orbit is a ﬁction. In reality, all geostationary spacecraft have slightly eccentric and inclined orbits and the orbital period deviates slightly from one sidereal day. We denote the region in space that contains all operationally used geostationary spacecraft as the geostationary ring.
Space Debris – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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