An Optimal Orbital Control Process for a 24-hour Communication Satellite

by J. A. Burkhart, F. T. Smith

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A discussion of the modification of the orbit of a 24-hour communication satellite to increase the useful orbital lifetime and to minimize the amount of fuel consumed during the process. The computation of the orbit transfer by the method of dynamic programming is described, and numerical results are presented that relate the weight of fuel consumed to useful orbital lifetime. The effects of errors in the orbit-determination process and the adjustment of system parameters on the numerical results are discussed.

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