Resources Contact Us Home
Low energy method for changing the inclinations of orbiting satellites using weak stability boundaries and a computer process for implementing same

Image Number 13 for United States Patent #6341250.

When a satellite is orbiting the earth in an elliptic orbit, it has a certain inclination with respect to the earth's equator. The usual way to change the inclination is perform a maneuver by firing the rocket engines at the periapsis of the ellipse. This then forces the satellite into the desired inclination. There is a substantially more fuel efficient way to change the inclination. This is done by an indirect route by first doing a maneuver to bring the satellite to the moon on a BCT (Ballistic Capture Transfer). At the moon, the satellite is in the so called fuzzy boundary or weak stability boundary. A negligibly small maneuver can then bring it back to the earth on a reverse BCT to the desired earth inclination. Another maneuver puts it into the new ellipse at the earth. In the case of satellites launched from Vandenberg AFB into LEO in a circular orbit of an altitude of 700 km with an inclination of, approximately 6 km/s is required to change the inclination to This yields a savings of approximately 13% in Delta-V as compared to the standard approach which could translate into a significant increase of payload or perhaps a smaller launch vehicle. This may have applications to commercial satellite launches for the Iridium or Teledesic networks and others.

  Recently Added Patents
Method of operating a split gate flash memory cell with coupling gate
System, apparatus, and method for fast startup of USB devices
Image surveillance system and method of detecting whether object is left behind or taken away
Turbulence sensor and blade condition sensor system
Hand-held electronic display device
Generating and modifying textual code interfaces from graphical programs
  Randomly Featured Patents
Grinding method and grinding machine
Wiper lifter
Process for solubilising an alpha-glucan containing foodstuff
Control apparatus for AC rotary machine
Path control system, path control device, path control method, and program
Method of laminating a cover layer for flexible circuits
Method of adhesive bonding
Toner cartridge
Magnetic core for current transformer, current transformer, and watt-hour meter
Method for analyzing reflection properties