Observed Effects of Earth-Reflected Radiation and Hydrogen Drag on the Orbital Accelerations of Balloon Satellites

  1. Soren W. Henriksen,
  2. Armando Mancini and
  3. Bernard H. Chovitz
  1. Edwin J. Prior

Published Online: 15 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM015p0197

The Use of Artificial Satellites for Geodesy

The Use of Artificial Satellites for Geodesy

How to Cite

Prior, E. J. (1972) Observed Effects of Earth-Reflected Radiation and Hydrogen Drag on the Orbital Accelerations of Balloon Satellites, in The Use of Artificial Satellites for Geodesy (eds S. W. Henriksen, A. Mancini and B. H. Chovitz), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM015p0197

Author Information

  1. NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia 23365

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1972

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900155

Online ISBN: 9781118663646

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Keywords:

  • Balloon satellites;
  • Diffuse albedo model;
  • Global atmospheric model;
  • Pageos;
  • Pageos perigee

Summary

From March through May 1967, the high-altitude balloon satellites Pageos (1966 56A) and Dash 2 (1963 30D) were both in continuous sunlight orbits; hence their orbital energies were essentially unaffected by direct solar radiation, and the effects of other forces could be isolated during this period. Observed variations in the orbital accelerations of both satellites are found to be due primarily to a combination of the perturbing effects of earth albedo radiation and atmospheric drag. An equation based on diffuse Lambertian reflection of sunlight from the earth predicts quite well the observed trend of orbital accelerations for both satellites due to the force of earth albedo radiation. After correcting for this effect, the remaining orbital energy changes are found to be consistent with atmospheric drag perturbations, making it possible to deduce mean exospheric densities above 2300 km. The results indicate that hydrogen concentrations during the observation period were about 3 times greater than that given by the U.S. Standard Atmosphere Supplements(1966).