Geophysical researches with the orbits of the first satellites

  title={Geophysical researches with the orbits of the first satellites},
  author={D. G. King-hele},
  journal={Geophysical Journal International},
  • D. King-hele
  • Published 1 July 1983
  • Geology, Physics
  • Geophysical Journal International
Summary. This paper offers a partial view of the results of analysing the orbits of the first satellites, particularly Sputniks 1 and 2. The topics discussed include the zonal harmonics in the Earth's gravitational field and three features of the upper atmosphere - the air density and its variations; the scale height and temperature; and the zonal winds. The view presented is ‘partial’ in two senses: (a) because it is far from complete, and (b) because it has a personal bias. 
6 Citations
The upper atmosphere as sensed by satellite orbits
Satellite orbital precessions caused by the first odd zonal J3 multipole of a non-spherical body arbitrarily oriented in space
An astronomical body of mass M and radius R which is non-spherically symmetric generates a free space potential U which can be expanded in multipoles. As such, the trajectory of a test particle
Satellite Orbital Precessions Caused by the Octupolar Mass Moment of a Non-Spherical Body Arbitrarily Oriented in Space
I consider a satellite moving around a non-spherical body of mass M and equatorial radius R, and calculate its orbital precessions caused by the body’s octupolar mass moment J4. I consider only the


The Earth's Gravitational Potential, deduced from the Orbits of Artificial Satellites
Summary The numerical values of several of the higher harmonics in the Earth's gravitational potential have been obtained from the perturbations to the orbits of satellites. This paper describes
Motion of the Nodal Line of the Second Russian Earth Satellite (1957β) and Flattening of the Earth
DESPITE the fact that the observation of an artificial satellite can be carried out only on a small region of the Earth's surface, we can use these measurements for determining the geocentrical
Changes in the Inclination of Satellite Orbits to the Equator
IN a recent article1, we gave some details of changes in the orbital inclination of Sputnik 2 (1957β) and suggested that these changes might be caused by the rotation of the atmosphere. Bosanquet has
Techniques of Analysing Terrestrial Radio and Optical Observations of Earth Satellites
The development of a method of analysing the observations of radio interferometer and kinetheodolite observations of satellite orbits made by the staff of the Royal Aircraft Establishment on a digital computer is given in broad outline.
Odd Harmonics of the Earth's Gravitational Field
VARIATIONS in the perigee radius have been observed for three satellites so far. The first of these is Vanguard I (1958 beta), which was used by O'Keefe et al.1 in calculating the third and fifth
Upper Atmosphere Zonal Winds
ANALYSIS of the changes in inclination of Earth satellite orbits has indicated1 that the average rotation rate of the upper atmosphere increases from about 1.1 revolutions day−1 at 200 km to about
Determination of Air Density and the Earth’s Gravitational Field from the Orbits of Artificial Satellites
Methods for evaluating air density and scale height from the changes in the orbits of satellites are presented, and are used to determine air density at heights between 200 and 400 Km., and to trace
The effect of atmospheric rotation on the orbital plane of a near-earth satellite
  • G. E. Cook, R. Plimmer
  • Physics, Geology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • 1960
Besides the perturbations due to the gravitational field of the earth, the rotation of the earth’s atmosphere produces a perturbing force on a satellite which affects the motion of its orbital plane.