Dynamic Analysis of a Passive Satellite Stabilization Technique.

by T. B. Garber

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A dynamic analysis of a stabilization technique for a passive satellite. For some uses, artificial earth satellites must be stabilized in attitude with reference to the earth or some other point. The requirements for certain missions are more severe than for others. A communication satellite, for instance, which is only required to floodlight the earth, might function quite well whether oriented frontward or backward, while an observation satellite with directional sensors might require exceptional accuracy. A satellite can be designed so that gravity alone will keep it approximately stabilized. Although the result is not as precise as with an active system, it is still useful and should function as long as the satellite stays in orbit. This study analyzes a gravity-stabilized satellite, a concept previously analyzed on an approximate, or linear basis. The present analysis is nonlinear and hence more complicated, but should also yield more general results. 127 pp. Bibliog

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