The zero gravity curve and surface and radii for geostationary and geosynchronous satellite orbits

L.E. Sjöberg, E.W. Grafarend, M.S.S. Joud
2017 Journal of Geodetic Science  
AbstractA geosynchronous satellite orbits the Earth along a constant longitude. A special case is the geostationary satellite that is located at a constant position above the equator. The ideal position of a geostationary satellite is at the level of zero gravity, i.e. at the geocentric radius where the gravitational force of the Earth equals the centrifugal force. These forces must be compensated for several perturbing forces, in particular for the lunisolar tides. Considering that the gravity
more » ... ng that the gravity field of the Earth varies not only radially but also laterally, this study focuses on the variations of zero gravity not only on the equator (for geostationary satellites) but also for various latitudes. It is found that the radius of a geostationary satellite deviates from its mean value of 42164.2 km only within ±2 m, mainly due to the spherical harmonic coefficient J
doi:10.1515/jogs-2017-0005 fatcat:4thfc7hmyfgzfnev2xrnum5nvy