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The Influence of J2 on Formation Flying of Micro-Satellites in Low Near Equatorial Orbits

Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Abstract—Taking into considerations the effect of the Earth’s oblateness parameters, particularly J2, the present work assess such influence on the formation flight of micro satellites in near equatorial low orbits. The modified Clohessy-Wiltshire equations are reviewed to arrive at a convenient formulation as a set of linearized differential equations of motion to include the J2 effects in the LVLH frame of reference. Comparison made on the orbit of twinsatellite formation flying with respect to that predicted by baseline Hill-Clohessy-Wiltshire equation, and to similar results in the literature, exhibit the plausibility of the work.

Index Terms—Orbital Mechanics, Gravitational Potential, Near-Equatorial Low Orbits, Spacecraft Formation Flying.

Cite: HarijonoDjojodihardjo, "The Influence of J2 on Formation Flying of Micro-Satellites in Low Near Equatorial Orbits," Journal of Advances in Information Technology, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 5-14, February, 2014.doi:10.4304/jait.5.1.5-14
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