Resident space object population in highly elliptical high perigee altitude (> 600 km) orbits is significantly affected by luni-solar gravity. Using regularization, an analytical orbit theory with luni-solar gravity effects as third-body perturbations in terms of Kustaanheimo-Stiefel regular elements is developed. Numerical tests with different cases resulted in good accuracy for both short- and long-term orbit propagations. It is observed that the luni-solar perturbations affect the accuracy of the analytical solution seasonally. The analytical theory is tested with the observed orbital parameters of the few objects in highly elliptical orbits. The analytical evolution of osculating perigee altitude is found to be concurrent with observed data. Solar perturbation, when compared with lunar perturbation, is established to be dominant over such orbits.
Astrodynamics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 7, 2020