Project 3 – Attitude Dependent Force Modelling of Geostationary Optus Satellites During Solar Activity Extremes
The dynamics of Earth-orbiting artificial satellites and space debris objects are perturbed by the space environment forces. The estimation of the force acting on the object is necessary to analyse and predict the orbital motion of the satellites, compensate for the position and attitude perturbations in the case of the active satellites, and estimate conjunction probabilities. The project will use the realistic models of the satellites and the environmental conditions during the solar minimum and maximum periods to estimate the perturbations experienced by the selected objects and investigate the differences over the solar cycle.
The Space Environment Research Centre (SERC) develops methods and tools for improved modelling of the forces and torques acting on artificial satellites, including space debris objects. The major forces perturbing the orbital motion of the geostationary (GEO) satellites are produced by the Earth’s gravity and magnetic fields, solar radiation pressure and the charged particle flux trapped in the Van Allen belts. The condition of the space environment at GEO altitudes strongly depends on the space weather parameters defined by the solar activity.
This project will use the tools available to determine the state of the environment during the minimum and maximum solar activity periods and estimate the forces and torques on the satellites of interest. Realistic box-wing macro-models for the Optus satellites will be used during the investigation to calculate the dependence between the inertial attitude of the satellites and the torques experienced by the orbiting bodies.
The relationship determined between the perturbations of the GEO satellites and the solar cycle will indicate the accuracy level on which the space weather needs to be modelled for the accurate orbit determination and the attitude prediction.
Scope of Work
- Dedicated software will be used to calculate the environmental conditions at the position of the selected satellites (e.g. defunct Optus-B1, and active Optus-10) over the specified period of time.
- The forces and torques exerted on the satellites for the variable inertial attitudes at the minimum and maximum solar activity periods will be calculated and summarized.
- The results will be presented in a form that displays the difference in the predicted perturbations between the solar activity extremes.
- Report (required)
- Presentation (required)
Basic understanding of all, and past experience preferably in more than one of the following disciplines: Physical Models & interpretation, Computer Simulations, Physics/Engineering, C++ coding would be an advantage.
Self-motivated, independent, good communicator, at ease working in a multi-disciplinary projects. Willing to learn new concepts and tools, fluent in English.
- Dr Daniel Kucharski
Please contact Dr Daniel Kucharski for further information on DanielKucharski(at)serc.org.au or (02) 6197 0163.