Perturbations of a gravity gradient stabilization system

by Richard H. Frick

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An investigation of several sources of perturbation on the performance of a gravity gradient stabilization system, including micro-meteoroid impact, solar radiation pressure, station-keeping propulsion, orbital eccentricity, and on-board rotating machinery. Formulas are developed that determine the magnitude of pitch, roll, and yaw perturbations from each of these effects. These perturbations do not neccessarily rule out gravity gradient stabilization, but their magnitudes for a given vehicle configuration should be considered in the light of mission requirements.

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