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Spacecraft OMM reduction using stable frozen orbit conditions

Ahmad Soleymani (Department of Aerospace Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran)
Alireza Toloei (Department of Aerospace Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 5 January 2015




The purpose of this research was to analyze application effects of the stable frozen orbit conditions in the spacecraft Orbital Maintenance Maneuver (OMM) reduction.


One challenge in implementing these motions is maintaining the relations as it experiences orbital perturbations (zonal harmonics), most notably due to the non-spherical Earth. A natural phenomenon exists called a frozen orbit, for which the orbital elements: argument of perigee (ω) and eccentricity (e) remain virtually fixed over extended periods of time.


Simulation results show that, using stable frozen orbit condition results in considerable propellant saving, decreased OMM, increase of accuracy position errors and thus performance improvement of the spacecraft for orbiter mission is preferable. So, from among three proposed theories, the Brouwer–Hori theory has provided better accuracy and more stable conditions in the frozen orbit.

Practical implications

Simulation algorithm has been achieved to solve this problem by extracting and combining the equations that govern the frozen conditions with the tangential forces (ΔV) equations for orbit correction.


In all studies with content of harmonic perturbation effects on the spacecraft motion dynamics, main goal is to obtain a solution for optimization of the operation process, so that overshadowed mission costs. The case studies about this aim, mostly to the trajectory parameters optimization by considering the vehicle orbital conditions under various control methods are formed. While in this regards, the intrinsic properties of stable Earth orbits and using them effectively is less than to analyse the problems is considered.



Soleymani, A. and Toloei, A. (2015), "Spacecraft OMM reduction using stable frozen orbit conditions", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 87 No. 1, pp. 100-106.



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