Patent Number: 6,305,646

Title: Eccentricity control strategy for inclined geosynchronous orbits

Abstract: A method, apparatus, article of manufacture, and a memory structure for controlling the eccentricity of an orbit. One embodiment of the present invention is described by a method comprising the step of performing a program of eccentricity control maneuvers wherein the control maneuvers are executed at times and in directions selected to apply substantially all eccentricity control along a line of antinodes. In one embodiment, the control maneuvers arc tangential maneuvers, and each control maneuver is applied near the line of antinodes. Provision is made for performing additional maneuvers, including node retargcting maneuvers during specified intervals. Another embodiment of the invention is described by a satellite in a substantially geosynchronous orbit having a satellite control system with a processor implementing instructions to perform control maneuvers as described above. Yet another embodiment of the present invention is described by a command facility comprising a processor for implementing instructions to perform the program control maneuvers described above, and a communicatively coupled transmitter for transmitting the commands to the satellite.

Inventors: McAllister; Jeoffrey R. (Redondo Beach, CA), Fowell; Richard A. (Culver City, CA)

Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation

International Classification: B64G 1/24 (20060101); G01C 21/24 (20060101); G05D 1/08 (20060101); B64G 1/26 (20060101); B64G 001/00 (); B64G 001/22 (); G01G 007/78 (); G01C 021/00 (); G05D 001/00 (); G05D 003/00 (); G06F 017/00 (); G06F 007/00 ()

Expiration Date: 10/23/2018