r T
v r T
=
=
12
Example Circular Orbits
1 40 27.0 7.4624 780 Iridium
1 55 17.8 7.1272 1,469 Skybridge
5 55 48.4 4.8954 10,255 ICOGlobal
23 56
4.091
3.0747 35,786.43 INTELSAT
Orbital
Period
hr. min. sec.
Orbital
Velocity
(km/s)
Orbital
Height
(km)
Satellite
System
GMU  ECE 739, Fall 2003  Satellite Communications Class: Sept082003
(C) Leila Z. Ribeiro, 2003 4
13
Orbit Limits
There must be a balance between inward
gravitational (centripetal) forces and outward
centrifugal forces
Must not be too close to the earth as it will be
slowed down by the atmosphere
Velocity must be in the right direction
(parallel to earth surface).
Orbital Mechanics:
Keplers Laws
15
Coordinate System 1
Earth Main Planes
The earth is at the center of
the coordinate system
Reference planes coincide
with the equator and the
polar axis
x axis
y axis
z axis
Equatorial Plane
r
Earths rotational axis
More convenient to use this coordinate system
16
Coordinate System 2
Orbital Plane Coordinate System
The earth is at the center of
the coordinate system
Reference plane coincides
with orbital plane of
satellite
x
0
axis (Often defined as
direction of perigee)
y
0
axis
z axis
Orbital Plane
z
0
axis
GMU  ECE 739, Fall 2003  Satellite Communications Class: Sept082003
(C) Leila Z. Ribeiro, 2003 5
17
Developing Equations of the Orbit  1
Rewriting gravitational force:
Eq.2.7
Where is a vector in the direction from the earths center to
the satellite of magnitude r
But force = mass X acceleration:
Eq.2.8
Equating yields a 2
nd
order differential equation
Eq.2.10
3 3
r
m GM
r
m
E
r r
F = =
2
2
dt
md r
F =
0
3 2
2
= +
r dt
d r r
r
18
Solving the differential equation leads to three laws
of orbits (Keplers Laws of Motion) and six
constants (the orbital constants/ephemeris data)
which define the orbit
Keplers Laws of Planetary Motion govern motion of
satellite around earth and planets around sun
Johann Kepler (1571  1630) was a German
astronomer and scientist who derived the laws
empirically by observation only.
Isaac Newton (16421724) was a British astronomer
who calculated these relationships 50 years later.
Developing Equations of the Orbit  2
19
Keplers Three Laws
First Law: Orbit is an ellipse with the larger body
(earth) at one focus
Second Law: The satellite sweeps out equal arcs in
equal time (NOTE: for an ellipse, this means that the
orbital speed varies around the orbit)
Third Law: The square of the period of revolution
equals a constant the third power of the semimajor
axis of the ellipse
Well look at each of these next
20
Review of Ellipse Geometry
Points (c,0) and (c,0) are the foci.
Points (a,0) and (a,0) are the vertices.
Line between vertices is the major axis.
a is the length of the semimajor axis.
Line between (0,b) and (0,b) is the minor axis.
b is the length of the semiminor axis.
1
2
2
2
2
= +
b
y
a
x
2 2 2
c b a + =
Standard Equation:
y
V(a,0)
P(x,y)
F(c,0)
F(c,0)
V(a,0)
(0,b)
x
(0,b)
ab A =
Area of ellipse:
Important Relationships:
GMU  ECE 739, Fall 2003  Satellite Communications Class: Sept082003
(C) Leila Z. Ribeiro, 2003 6
21
Keplers First Law: Elliptical Orbits
Important Definitions:
e = ellipses eccentricity
0 < e < 1 ellipse
e = 0 circle
O = center of earth (one focus of
ellipse)
C = center of ellipse
Perigee = Point closest to earth
Apogee = Point furthest from earth
a = length of semimajor axis
= (perigee + apogee)/2
b = length of semiminor axis
p
O C
x
0
Perigee
0
y
0
r
0
b
a
Apogee
ae
a(1+e)
a(1e)
p = width of ellipse at focus = a(1e
2
)
r
0
= distance earths center to satellite
0
= angle between r
0
and the perigee
(the true anomaly)
22
Orbit Characteristics
Semiaxis lengths of the orbit
Return to solution of differential equation. Orbit
height is
When the x
0
axis is chosen so that both the apogee and perigee
lie along it (major axis of the ellipse).
and
and h is the magnitude of the
angular momentum
where
2
1 e
p
a
2
h
p =
( )
2 / 1
2
1 e a b =
23
Orbit Eccentricity
If a = semimajor axis,
b = semiminor axis, and
e = eccentricity of the orbit ellipse,
then
b a
b a
e
+
=
NOTE: For a circular orbit, a = b and e = 0
24
Keplers Second Law: Equal Area Arcs
If t
2
 t
1
= t
4
 t
3
,
then A
12
= A
34
Velocity of satellite
is slowest at apogee
and fastest at
perigee
t
1
t
2
t
3
t
4
E
A
34
A
12
GMU  ECE 739, Fall 2003  Satellite Communications Class: Sept082003
(C) Leila Z. Ribeiro, 2003 7
25
Keplers Third Law: Orbital Period
Orbital period and the Ellipse are related by:
T
2
= (4
2
a
3
) /
IMPORTANT: Period of revolution is referenced to inertial space, i.e., to
the galactic background, NOT to an observer on the surface of one of the
bodies (earth).
For a GEO, for instance, T is the sidereal day
= Keplers Constant = GM
E
26
Solar vs. Sidereal Day 1
A sidereal day is the time between consecutive crossings
of any particular longitude on the earth with reference to
inertial space (or its own axis); I.e., in practice, with
reference to any star other than the sun. This corresponds
to a 360 degree rotation.
A solar say is the time between consecutive crossings of
any particular longitude of the earth by the sunearth axis.
This corresponds to more than 360 degrees.
Solar day = EXACTLY 24 hrs
Sidereal day = 23 h 56 min. 4.091 s
Why the difference?
27
Solar vs. Sidereal Day  2
Why the difference?
By the time the Earth completes a full rotation with
respect to an external point (not the sun), it has already
moved its center position with respect to the sun.
The extra time it takes to cross the sunearth axis,
averaged over 4 full years (because every 4 years one
has 366 deays) is of about 3.93 minutes per day.
28
Solar vs. Sidereal Day  3
Sidereal Day: A 360 rotation
Sun Earth Day 1
Earth Day 2
Solar Day: More than 360
This extra distance is why
solar days are longer
Reference
Reference
GMU  ECE 739, Fall 2003  Satellite Communications Class: Sept082003
(C) Leila Z. Ribeiro, 2003 8
29
Solar vs. Sidereal Day  4
Numerical Calculation:
4 years = 1461 solar days (365*4 +1)
4 years : earth moves 1440 degrees (4*360) around sun.
1 solar day: earth moves 0.98 degrees (=1440/1461) around
sun
1 solar day : earth moves 360.98 degress around itself (360 +
0.98)
1 sidereal day = earth moves 360 degrees around itself
1 solar day = 24hrs = 1440 minutes
1 sidereal day = 1436.7 minutes (1440*360/360.98)
Difference = 3.93 minutes
30
Numerical Example 1: The GEO Orbit
Problem: Calculate radius and height of GEO orbit
given that Sidereal Day = 23 hrs 56 min 4.1 sec
Solution:
T
2
= (4
2
a
3
) / (Keplers Third Law)
Rearrange to a
3
= T
2
/(4
2
)
T = 86,164.1 sec
a
3
= (86,164.1)
2
x 3.986004418 x 10
5
/(4
2
)
a = 42,164.172 km = orbit radius
h = orbit radius earth radius = 42,164.172 6378.14
= 35,786.03 km
31
Locating the Satellite in Orbit  1
Goal: Find satellite coordinates in orbital
plane
Need to develop a procedure that will allow
the average angular velocity to be used
If the orbit is not circular, the procedure is
to use a circumscribed circle
A circumscribed circle is a circle that has a
radius equal to the semimajor axis length
of the ellipse and also has the same center
32
Locating the Satellite in Orbit  2
= Average angular velocity
M= Mean Anomaly = Arc
length (in radians) that the
satellite would have traversed
since perigee passage if it were
moving around the circumscribed
circle with average angular
velocity
E = Eccentric anomaly = Angle
between the orbit center and the
intersection between the vertical
line from the satellite to the
circumscribed circle
O C
x
0
axis
y
0
axis
A
E
x
0
y
0
Orbital Plane
Circumscribed Circle
a
43
Defining Parameters  2
(Source: M.Richaria, Satellite Communication Systems, Fig.2.9)
44
and i together locate the Orbital
plane with respect to the Equatorial
plane.
locates the Orbital coordinate
system with respect to the
Equatorial coordinate system.
Locating the Satellite  2
GMU  ECE 739, Fall 2003  Satellite Communications Class: Sept082003
(C) Leila Z. Ribeiro, 2003 12
45
Orbital Elements
To specify the exact position of an
orbiting satellite at a given instant, we
need the Orbital Elements:
Right Ascension of the Ascending Node
i Inclination of the orbit
Argument of Perigee
t
p
Time of Perigee
e Eccentricity of the elliptical orbit
a Semimajor axis of the orbit ellipse
46
Numerical Example 2:
Problem: Considering the Space shuttle circular orbit (height , h
= 250 km), and Earth radius = 6378 km, obtain:
a. Orbital period
b. Average linear velocity
Solution:
a) r = (r
e
+ h) = 6378 + 250 = 6628 km
From equation 2.21:
T
2
= (4
2
a
3
) / = 4
2
(6628)
3
/ 3.986004418 10
5
s
2
= 2.8838287 10
7
s
2
T = 5370.13 s = 89 mins 30.13 secs
b) The circumference of the orbit is 2a = 41,644.95 km
v = 2a / T = 41,644.95 / 5370.13 = 7.755 km/s
Alternatively: v = (/r)
2
. =7.755 km/s.
47
Numerical Example 3:
Problem: Elliptical Orbit: Perigee = 1,000 km, Apogee = 4,000 km
a. Period
b. Eccentricity
Solution:
a) 2a = 2 r
e
+ h
p
+ h
a
= 2 6378 + 1000 + 4000 = 17,756 km
a = 8878 km
T
2
= (4
2
a
3
) / = 4
2
(8878)
3
/ 3.986004418 10
5
s
2
= 6.930545 10
7
s
2
T = 8324.99 s = 138 mins 44.99 s = 2 hrs 18 mins 44.99 s
b) At perigee, eccentric anomaly E = 0 and r
0
= r
e
+ h
p
.
r
0
= a ( 1 e cos E )
r
e
+ h
p
= a( 1 e)
e = 1  (r
e
+ h
p
) / a = 1  7,378 / 8878 = 0.169
Look Angle Determination
GMU  ECE 739, Fall 2003  Satellite Communications Class: Sept082003
(C) Leila Z. Ribeiro, 2003 13
49
Look Angle Definitions  1
Look angles: The coordinates to which an ES must
point to communicate with a satellite. These are
azimuth (AZ) and elevation angle (EL)
AZ: The angle measured from N to E to projection of
satellite path onto horizontal plane
EL: The angle measured from the horizontal plane to the
orbit plane
The subsatellite point: The point, on the earths
surface, of intersection between a line from the
earths center to the satellite
50
EL
Look Angle Definitions  2
Local Vertical
North
East
AZ
Projection of path onto
local horizontal plane
Path to
satellite
NOTE: This is
True North
(not magnetic,
from compass)
51
Look Angle Definitions  3
C
Sub
Zenith direction
Nadir direction
52
Calculating the Look Angle
Need six Orbital Elements
Calculate the orbit from these Orbital Elements
Define the orbital plane
Locate satellite at time t with respect to the First
Point of Aries
Find location of the Greenwich Meridian relative to
the first point of Aries
Use Spherical Trigonometry to find the position of
the satellite relative to a point on the earths surface
GMU  ECE 739, Fall 2003  Satellite Communications Class: Sept082003
(C) Leila Z. Ribeiro, 2003 14
53
Most Common Methods Today
Go to http://www.stk.com and go to the
downloads area.
ANALYTICAL GRAPHICS software suite
called Satellite Tool Kit for orbit determination
Used by LM, Hughes, NASA, etc.
Need two basic lookangle parameters:
Elevation Angle
Azimuth Angle
54
Coordinate System  1
Latitude: Angular distance, measured in
degrees, north or south of the equator.
L from 90 to +90 (or from 90S to 90N)
Longitude: Angular distance, measured in
degrees, from a given reference longitudinal
line (Greenwich, London).
l from 0 to 360E (or 180W to 180E)
55
Coordinate System  2
(Source: M.Richaria, Satellite Communication Systems, Fig.2.9) 56
Satellite Coordinates
SUBSATELLITE POINT
Latitude L
s
Longitude l
s
EARTH STATION LOCATION
Latitude L
e
Longitude l
e
Calculate , ANGLE AT EARTH CENTER
Between the line that connects the earthcenter to the satellite
and the line from the earthcenter to the earth station.
GMU  ECE 739, Fall 2003  Satellite Communications Class: Sept082003
(C) Leila Z. Ribeiro, 2003 15
57
Look Angles
Azimuth: Measured eastward (clockwise)
from geographic north to the projection of
the satellite path on a (locally) horizontal
plane at the earth station.
Elevation Angle: Measured upward from
the local horizontal plane at the earth station
to the satellite path.
58
Geometry for Elevation Calculation
El =  90
o
= central angle
r
s
= radius to the satellite
r
e
= radius of the earth
Center
of Earth
r
e
r
s
d
Local horizontal
EL
Earth
Station
Plane in picture is the one
that includes center of the
earth, Earth Station and
Satellite.
Subsatellite point will
also be on the same plane.
Subsatellite point
59
Review of Slant Path Geometry
Review of spherical trigonometry
Law of Sines
Law of Cosines for angles
Law of Cosines for sides
( )( )
( ) 2
,
2
tan
cos 2
sin sin sin
2 2 2
c b a
d
c d d
b d a d C
C ab b a c
c
C
b
B
a
A
+ +
=
=
+ =
= =
a C B C B A
A c b c b a
c
C
b
B
a
A
cos sin sin cos cos cos
cos sin sin cos cos cos
sin sin sin
+ =
+ =
= =
c
A
B
C
a
b
a
b
c
A
B
C
Review of plane trigonometry
Law of Sines
Law of Cosines
Law of Tangents
60
The Central Angle
is defined so that it is nonnegative and
cos () = cos(Le) cos(L
s
) cos(l
s
l
e
) + sin(L
e
) sin(L
s
)
The magnitude of the vectors joining the center of the
earth, the satellite and the earth station are related by
the law of cosine:
( )
2 / 1
2
cos 2 1
(
(


.

\



.

\

+ =
s
e
s
e
s
r
r
r
r
r d
GMU  ECE 739, Fall 2003  Satellite Communications Class: Sept082003
(C) Leila Z. Ribeiro, 2003 16
61
Elevation Calculation
By the sine law we have
( ) ( ) sin sin
d r
s
=
Which yields
cos (El)
( )
( )
2 / 1
2
cos 2 1
sin
(
(


.

\



.

\

+
=
s
e
s
e
r
r
r
r
62
Azimuth Calculation
More complex approach for nongeo satellites. Different formulas
and corrections apply depending on the combination of positions
of the earth station and subsatellite point with relation to each of
the four quadrants (NW, NE, SW, SE).
A simplified method for calculating azimuths in the
Geostationary case is shown in the next slides.
63
Specialization to Geostationary
SUBSATELLITE POINT
(Equatorial plane, Latitude L
s
= 0
o
Longitude l
s
)
EARTH STATION LOCATION
Latitude L
e
Longitude l
e
The GEOSTATIONARY CASE allows some
simplifications in the formulas:
64
The Central Angle  GEO
The original calculation previously shown:
cos () = cos(Le) cos(L
s
) cos(l
s
l
e
) + sin(L
e
) sin(L
s
)
Simplifies using L
s
= 0
o
since the satellite is
over the equator:
cos () = cos(Le) cos(l
s
l
e
)
GMU  ECE 739, Fall 2003  Satellite Communications Class: Sept082003
(C) Leila Z. Ribeiro, 2003 17
65
Elevation Calculation, GEO
Using r
s
= 42,164 km and r
e
= 6,378.14 km gives
Distance to satellite, d:
d = 42,164 [1.0228826  0.3025396 cos()]
1/2
km
Elevation Angle (El) is obtained from:
or alternatively:
( )
( )
( )  
2 / 1
cos 3025396 . 0 0228826 . 1
sin
cos
= El
(
(
(
(
(


.

\

=
sin
cos
tan
1 e
s
r
r
El
66
To find the azimuth angle, an intermediate angle, , must first be
found. The intermediate angle allows the correct quadrant (see
Figs. 2.10 & 2.13) to be found since the azimuthal direction can lie
anywhere between 0
o
(true North) and clockwise through 360
o
(back to true North again). The intermediate angle is found from
( )
( )
(
=
e
e s
L
l l
sin
tan
tan
1


.

\

sin
cos
tan
1 s
e
r
r
El
Numerical Example 4:
GEO Look Angle Calculation  2
70
Step 2 contd.
El = tan
1
[ (0.2504 (6378.14 / 42164)) / sin (75.4981) ]
= 5.85
o
Step 3. Find the intermediate angle,
( )
( )
(
=
e
e s
L
l l
sin
tan
tan
1
= tan
1
[ (tan (66  0)) / sin (52) ]
= 70.6668
Numerical Example 4:
GEO Look Angle Calculation  3
71
The earth station is in the Northern hemisphere and the satellite is
to the South East of the earth station. This gives
Az = 180
o

= 180 70.6668 = 109.333
o
(clockwise from true North)
ANSWER: The lookangles to the satellite are
Elevation Angle = 5.85
o
Azimuth Angle = 109.33
o
Numerical Example 4:
GEO Look Angle Calculation  4
72
Visibility Test
A simple test, called the visibility test will quickly tell you
whether you can operate a satellite into a given location.
A positive (or zero) elevation angle requires
( ) cos
e
s
r
r
which yields


.

\

s
e
r
r
1
cos
GMU  ECE 739, Fall 2003  Satellite Communications Class: Sept082003
(C) Leila Z. Ribeiro, 2003 19
73
Operational Limitations
For Geostationary Satellites
81.3
o
This would give an elevation angle = 0
o
Not normal to operate down to zero
usual limits are CBand 5
o
KuBand 10
o
Ka and VBand 20
o
Orbital Perturbations
75
Previous section simplified assumptions:
Earth and satellite modeled as point masses
influenced only by gravitational attraction.
Results in a Keplerian orbit.
Uniform gravitational force around the earth.
Twobody systems (no influence of other
heavenly bodies were considered).
No consideration for atmosphere drag.
76
Reality: Orbit perturbations  1
IRREGULAR EARTH:
Irregular gravitational force around the Earth due to
non uniform mass distribution.
Earth is not a sphere, it can be modeled as an
ellipsoid with a slight bulge at the equator.
21 km difference between POLAR and EQUATORIAL radius
Results in additional forces on the satellite because
the gravitational pull is offset from the center of the
Earth.
Sunsynchronous orbit benefits from this effect.
GMU  ECE 739, Fall 2003  Satellite Communications Class: Sept082003
(C) Leila Z. Ribeiro, 2003 20
77
Reality: Orbit perturbations  2
OTHER HEAVENLY BODIES:
Orbit calculation is not a twobody solution, but
rather a Nbody solution.
Main external perturbations come from Sun and
Moon.
When satellite is near to those external bodies it
receives a stronger gravitational pull.
Moons gravitational force tends to pull satellite out of
equatorial plane (GEO)
Main effect is change in inclination (geostationary
orbit).
78
Reality: Many orbit perturbations  3
ATMOSPHERIC DRAG:
Due to friction caused by collision with atoms
and ions.
Affects more loworbit satellites.
Reduces ellipticity of an elliptical orbit,
making it more circular.
Reduces altitude in circular orbits.
At extreme conditions (very low altitudes),
results in loss by burning.
79
Reality: Many orbit perturbations  4
OTHER PERTURBATIONS:
Solar radiation pressure: affects large GEO
satellites which use large solar arrays. Increases
orbital eccentricity and affects northsouth axis of
the satellite.
Earths magnetic field
Meteorites
Selfgenerated torques and pressures caused by RF
radiation from the antenna.