Long-term Astrodynamical Modeling

Engineering model of the TechSat microsatellite, currently displayed at DSSL

The pivotal question addressed in this research is whether the inclination variations,
generated over billion-year timescales by the combined influence of several factors, are purely periodic or accumulate to secular changes. This matter has immediate applications to the theory of satellite capture. We explore, by two very different methods, inclination variations of a satellite subjected to four perturbations -- bodily tides, the pull of the Sun, the planet's nonsphericity, and its nonuniform equinoctial precession. The model enables us to trace with high accuracy the long-term evolution of the satellite's inclination reckoned from the precessing equator of date.