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RE: AO-40 Orbit Question



Thanks to everyone that sent me messages on this subject.  I had to get out
of my regular head and screw on my Physics head and then it all made sense.
I really appreciate it!  I am starting to make my grocery list of items that
I will need to build my satellite station (and hopefully keep it at school
for others to possibly get interested in!).

Respectfully,
Eric H. Christensen, KF4OTN

East Carolina University
Historian - ECU Society of Physics Students
V. President - ECU Amateur Radio Society

christensene@mail.ecu.edu
http://www.ecu.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Bostwick [mailto:lihan161051@earthlink.net]
Sent: Monday, October 08, 2001 19:01
To: amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] AO-40 Orbit Question


The "figure 8" in the ground track is an artifact of AO-40's highly 
elliptical orbit.  The satellite orbits in an inclined plane relative to 
celestial coordinates, and if the Earth did not rotate its ground track 
would be a great circle.  Since the Earth rotates, and the satellite's 
velocity varies greatly from perigee to apogee, the combination produces 
the "figure 8" appearance as the satellite alternately overtakes and 
falls behind the Earth's rotation.  (AO-40 spends most of a day at 
apogee, but much less than an hour at perigee.)

Is answer question?

> Can anyone tell me why AO-40 orbits the way it does?  Or, maybe more
> directly, what causes AO-40's orbit to be more of a figure 8?  I am a
> Physics student and am always looking for questions!
>
> Respectfully,
> Eric H. Christensen, KF4OTN

           --... ...-- -.. . -. ..... ...- -...
                   Bruce Bostwick N5VB

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