Advanced SearchSearch Tips
Earth Albedo perturbations on Low Earth Orbit Cubesats
facebook(new window)  Pirnt(new window) E-mail(new window) Excel Download
 Title & Authors
Earth Albedo perturbations on Low Earth Orbit Cubesats
Khalifa, N.S.; Sharaf-Eldin, T.E.;
  PDF(new window)
This work investigates the orbital perturbations of the cubesats that lie on LEO due to Earth albedo. The motivation for this paper originated in the investigation of the orbital perturbations for closed- Earth pico-satellites due to the sunlight reflected by the Earth (the albedo). Having assumed that the Sun lies on the equator, the albedo irradiance is calculated using a numerical model in which irradiance depends on the geographical latitude, longitude and altitude of the satellite. However, in the present work the longitude dependency is disregarded. Albedo force and acceleration components are formulated using a detailed model in a geocentric equatorial system in which the Earth is an oblate spheroid. Lagrange planetary equations in its Gaussian form are used to analyze the orbital changes when and . Based on the Earth's reflectivity data measured by NASA Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS project), the orbital perturbations are calculated for some cubesats. The outcome of the numerical test shows that the albedo force has a significant contribution on the orbital perturbations of the pico-satellite which can affect the satellite life time.
cubesat specifications;terrestrial albedo;NASA Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS Project);radiative force;geocentric equatorial coordinate systems;Lagrange planetary equations;
 Cited by
Ali Ravanbakhsh, and Sebastian Franchini, "Preliminary Structural Sizing of a Modular Microsatellite Based on System Engineering Considerations", Third International Conference on Multidisciplinary Design Optimization and Applications, Paris, France, 2010.

Anselmo L., Farinella P., Milani A., and Nobili, A. M.,, "Effects of the Earth Reflected Sunlight on the Orbit of the LAGEOs Satellite", Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol 117, No. 1, 1983, 1-3.

Antreasian, P. G. and Rosborough, G. W. , "Prediction of radiant energy forces on the TOPEX/POSEIDON spacecraft", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, vol 2. No. 1, 1992, 81-90.

Bhanderi D.D.V., "Spacecraft attitude determination with Earth albedo corrected Sun sensor measurements", Ph.D.Thesis, Aalborg University, Denmark, 2005.

Bhanderi D.D.V. and Bak T., "Modeling Earth Albedo for Satellites in Earth Orbit", AIAA Guidance", Navigation, and Control Proceedings, San Francisco, California, 2005

Cal Poly SLO, CubeSat Design Specification, URL :

Escoba P.R., Methods of Orbit Determination, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, London, Sydney, 1965.

Harris M., and Lyle R., "Spacecraft Radiation Torque," NASA Space Vehicle Design Criteria (Guidance and Control) NASA SP-8027, October, 1969.

Jinsong Ping, Arata Sengoku, Nobuaki Nagaoka, Takahiro Iwata, Koji Matsumoto, and Nobuyuki Kawano", How solar radiation pressure acts on RSAT and VSAT with a small evolving tip-off in SELENE", Earth Planets Space, Vol 53, 2001, 919-925. crossref(new window)

Karla Patricia Vega, Attitude Control System for Cubesat for Ions, Neutrals, Electrons and MAGnetic Field (CINEMA), MS. Thesis, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY,2009.

Lionel Jacques, "Thermal Design of the Oufti-1 Nanosatellite", MS. thesis, University of Liege, 2009.

Mc Innes Colin R., Solar Sailing: Technology, Dynamics and Mission Applications, Springer-Praxis Series in Space Science and Technology, Chichester, 1999.

Milani, A., Nobili, A.M. and Farinella, P., Nongravitational perturbations and satellite geodesy", IOP publishing Ltd, 1987.

NASA Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS Project), URL : v8.html

Pontus Appel, "Attitude estimation from magnetometer and earth-albedo-corrected coarse Sun sensor measurements", Journal of Acta Astronautica, Vol. 56, Issue: 1-2, 2005.

Rocco E. M., "Evaluation of the Terrestrial Albedo Applied to Some Scientific Missions", Space Science Review, Vol. 151, No. 1-3, 2009, pp. 135-147. DOI : 10.1007/s11214- 009-9622-6. crossref(new window)

Roy,A.E., Orbital motion, Adam Hilger Ltd, Bristol, 1978

Venkataraman, N. S. and Carrara V, "The modeling of forces and torques on near Earth satellite application to a proposed Brazilian satellite", 7th Congr. Brasil. de Eng. Mecan., Uberlandia, Brazil, 1983.