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2- 1

Chapter 2 Questions and Solutions
Question 1. Explain what the terms centrifugal

and centripetal mean with regard to a satellite in orbitaround the earth. A satellite is in a circular orbit around the earth. The altitude of the satellite’s orbit abovethe surface of the earth is 1,400

km. (i) What are the centripetal and centrifugalaccelerat ions acting on the satellite in its orbit? Give your answer in m/s
2

. (ii) What isthe velocity of the satellite in this

orbit? Give your answer in km/s. (iii) What is theorbital period of the satellite in this orbit? Give your answer in hours, minutes, andseconds. Note: assume the average radius of the earth

is 6,378.137 km and Kepler’sconstant has the value 3.986004418
×

10
5

km
3

/s
2

Solution to question 1: In the case of a satellite orbiting the earth, the centrifugal force on the satellite is a forceon the satellite that is directly away from the

center of gravity of the earth ( F
OUT

in Fig.2.1) and the centripetal force is one directly towards the center of gravity of the earth (

F
IN

in Fig. 2.1). The centrifugal force on a satellite will therefore try to fling the satelliteaway from the earth while the centripetal force will try to bring the

satellite downtowards the earth. (i) From equation (2.1) centripetal acceleration a = µ /r
2

, where µ is Kepler’s constant.The value of r = 6,378.137 + 1,400 = 7,778.137 km, thus a = 3.986004418

×

10
5

/ (7,778.137)
2

= 0.0065885 km/s
2

= 6.5885007 m/s
2

. From equation (2.3), the

centrifugalaccelerat ion is given by a = v
2

/r , where v = the velocity of the satellite in a

circular orbit..From equation (2.5) v =( µ /r )
1/2

= (3.986004418
×

10
5

/ 7,778.137)
1/2

= 7.1586494 km/sand so a = 0.0065885007 km/s
2

= 6.5885007 m/s
2

. NOTE:

since the satellite was instable orbit, the centrifugal acceleration must be equal to the centripetal acceleration,which we have found to be true here (but we needed only to calculate one of

them). (ii) We have already found out the velocity of the satellite in orbit in part (i) (usingequation (2.5)) to be 7.1586494 km/s (iii) From equation (2.6), the orbital period

T = (2 π r
3/2

)/( µ
1/2

) = (2 π 7,778.137
3/2

)/(3.986004418
×

10
5

)
1/2

= (4,310,158.598)/ (631.3481146) = 6,826.912916 s = 1 hour 53minutes 46.92 seconds Question

2 A satellite is in a 322 km high circular orbit. Determine:a. The orbital angular velocity in radians per second;b. The orbital period in minutes; and
2- 2

c. The orbital velocity in meters per second.Note: assume the average radius of the earth is 6,378.137 km and Kepler’s constant hasthe value 3.986004418
×

10

5

km
3

/s
2

. Solution to question 2: It is actually easier to answer the three parts of this question

backwards, beginning withthe orbital velocity, then calculating the period, and hence the orbital angular velocity.First we will find the total radius of the orbit r

= 322 + 6,378.137 km = 6700.137 km (c) From eqn. (2.5), the orbital velocity v =( µ /r )
1/2

= (3.986004418
×

10
5

/ 6700.137)
1/2

=7.713066 km/s = 7,713.066 m/s. (b) From eqn. (2.6), T = (2 π

r
3/2

)/( µ
1/2

) = (2 π 6,700.137
3/2

)/( 3.986004418
×

10

5

)
1/2

=(3,445,921.604)/ (631.3481146) = 5,458.037372 seconds = 90.9672895 minutes = 90.97minutes. (a) The orbital period from above is

5,458.037372 seconds. One revolution of the earthcovers 360
o

or 2
π

π

radians are covered in 5,458.037372 seconds,giving the

orbital angular velocity as 2
π

distance traveled in one orbit(2 π r =2 π 6700.137 = 42,098.20236 km). This distance is equivalent to 2
π

radians and so1 km is equivalent to 2
π

/42,098.20236 radians = 0.0001493 radians. From above, theorbital velocity was 7.713066 km/s = 7.713066
×

0.0001493 radians/s = 0.0011512radians/s. Question 3. The same satellite in question 2 above (322 km circular orbit) carries a 300 MHztransmitter.a. Determine the maximum

frequency range over which the received signal would shiftdue to Doppler effects if received by a stationary observer suitably located in space.Note: the frequency can be shifted both up and

down, depending on whether the satelliteis moving towards or away from the observer. You need to determine the maximumpossible change in frequency due to Doppler (i.e. 2

f

).b. If an earth station on the surface of the earth at mean sea level, 6,370 km from thecenter of the earth, can receive the 300 MHz transmissions down

to an elevation angle of 0
o

, calculate the maximum Doppler shift that this station will observe. Note: Include theearth’s rotation and be sure you consider the

maximum possible Doppler shift for a 322km circular orbit. Solution to question 3 a. The highest Doppler shift would be observed in the plane of the satellite at the orbitalheight

of the satellite: the satellite would be coming directly at the observer or directly
2- 3

away from the observer. The maximum Doppler shift would

therefore be the sum of these two values. The orbital velocity was calculated in question 2 as 7,713.066 m/s.Using equation (2.44a), ∆ f

/ f
T

= V
T

/ v
p

, where ∆ f

is the Doppler frequency, f
T

is thefrequency of the transmitter at rest, V
T

is the component of the transmitter’s

velocitydirected at the observer, and v
p

is the phase velocity of light. Since the observer is atorbital height, the component of the transmitter’s velocity towards

the observer is theactual velocity of the satellite. Thus ∆ f = (7,713.066
×

300,000,000) / 2.9979
×

10
8

=7,718.468928 Hz. The maximum Doppler shift therefore = 7,718.468928
×

2 =15,436.93786 Hz = 15,436.94 Hz. b. It is best to

draw a diagram to see what the set up looks like. Below is a view fromabove the orbit of the satellite (orthogonal to the orbital plane). The important element in this part of the question is the

component of the satellite’svelocity towards the earth station.
O = vector from the satellite to the earth station S=

vector from the origin to the satellite E = vector from the origin to the earth station φφ
S

= angular coordinate of the satellite φφ
E

= angular coordinate of the earth station A and B

are the points in the satellite’s orbit when the elevation angle at the earth stationis zero, and hence (if the plane of the orbit takes the satellite directly over the earthstation at zenith) the point

where the Doppler shift is highest – either positive or negative. ABEOS φφ
S

φφ
E

Satellite in 322km circular orbitThe Earth

2- 4

Using the law of cosines, O
2

= E

2

+ S
2

–2 ES cos( φ
E

– φ
S

) For an orbital height of h , S = E + h , giving O

2

= E
2

+( E + h )
2

–2 E

( E + h)cos( φ
E

– φ
S

) The component of the satellite’s velocity towards the earth station is d

O /dt and we canobtain it by differentiating the above equation (remembering the E , h , and S

may beassumed to be constant values), term by term, thus: 2 O( d O /dt) = 2 E ( E

+ h )sin( φ
E

– φ
S

)(d φ
E

/dt – d

φ
S

/dt) , giving (d O /dt) = ( E ( E + h )sin(

φ
E

– φ
S

)(d φ
E

/dt – d φ
S

/dt))/(

E
2

+ S
2

–2 ES cos( φ
E

– φ

S

))
1/2

d φ
E

/dt is the earth’s rotational angular velocity = 2
π

×

10
-5

S

/dt =
±

n , where n

is the orbital angular velocity = 0.0011512 radians/s from question 2part (a). The sign depends on whether the orbital motion and the earth’s rotation are inthe same direction. To find the maximum

Doppler shift, we need to find ( φ
E

– φ
S

) whenthe elevation angle is 0
o

. This is drawn below for one of

the geometries (the other beingthe mirror image on the other side). In this figure

ξξ
=( φ
E

φ
S

) cos

ξξ
= E / S = E /(

E + h ) = (6378.137)/ (6378.137 +322) = 0.9519413 ( φ
E

– φ
S

) = cos

-1

(0.9519413) = 17.8352236
o

ES

ξξ
Local horizon at earth

station(elevation angle = 0
o

)

2- 5

Thus

()
2/ 122 35

))835.17cos()3221 37.6378(137.63782 )322137.6378()137 .6378(( ) 1015.110272.7) (835.17sin()322137 .6378)(137.6378(
+−++ ××+=
−−

m

dt d O

=096993.2052638 9.003,16,03935.10 0,14
+−

= -6.8710394 or +7.7986757 km/s The satellite may be rotating in the same direction as the angular rotation of the earth

oragainst it. Thus, for the same direction rotation,
863

109979.2 10300107986757.7 22
××××× =∆

f = 15,608.27719 = 15.6 kHz For the

opposite direction rotation
863

109979.2 10300108710394.6 22
××××× =∆

f = 13,752.41469 = 13.75 kHz Question 4 What are

Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion? Give the mathematical formulation of Kepler’s third law of planetary motion. What do the terms perigee and apogee meanwhen used to

describe the orbit of a satellite orbiting the earth? A satellite in an elliptical orbit around the earth has an apogee of 39,152 km and a perigeeof 500 km. What is the orbital period of this

satellite? Give your answer in hours. Note:assume the average radius of the earth is 6,378.137 km and Kepler’s constant has thevalue 3.986004418
×

10
5

km
3

/s
2

. Solution to question 4 Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion are (see

page 22) 1. The orbit of any smaller body about a larger body is always an ellipse, with thecenter of mass of the larger body as one of the two foci.2. The orbit of the smaller body sweeps out equal

areas in time (see Fig. 2.5).3. The square of the period of revolution of the smaller body about the larger bodyequals a constant multiplied by the third power of the semimajor

axis of theorbital ellipse.
Satellite Communications 2nd Ed by Timothy Pratt, Charles W[1]. Bostian Sample From Ch 2

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Darshan Vaswani

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