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Further evidence of long-term thermospheric density change using a new method of satellite ballistic coefficient estimation

Further evidence of long-term thermospheric density change using a new method of satellite ballistic coefficient estimation
Further evidence of long-term thermospheric density change using a new method of satellite ballistic coefficient estimation
Building on work from previous studies a strong case is presented for the existence of a long-term density decline in the thermosphere. Using a specially developed orbital propagator to predict satellite orbit evolution, combined with a new and accurate method of determining satellite ballistic coefficients, a long-term thermospheric density change has been detected using a different method compared to previous studies. Over a 40-year period between the years 1970 and 2010, thermospheric density has appeared to reduce by a few percent per decade. However, the results do not show the thermospheric density reduction to vary linearly with time. Therefore, by analyzing the derived density data over varying solar activity levels, as well as performing a Fourier spectral analysis to highlight any periodicities, connections with physical phenomena, where possible, are proposed
ballistic coefficient, long-term trend, thermosphere, thermospheric cooling
0148-0227
1-15
Saunders, A.
f42b40b5-5e67-47e2-bde0-0942211201f4
Lewis, H.G.
e9048cd8-c188-49cb-8e2a-45f6b316336a
Swinerd, G.G.
4aa174ec-d08c-4972-9986-966e17e072a0
Saunders, A.
f42b40b5-5e67-47e2-bde0-0942211201f4
Lewis, H.G.
e9048cd8-c188-49cb-8e2a-45f6b316336a
Swinerd, G.G.
4aa174ec-d08c-4972-9986-966e17e072a0

Saunders, A., Lewis, H.G. and Swinerd, G.G. (2011) Further evidence of long-term thermospheric density change using a new method of satellite ballistic coefficient estimation. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116 (A2), 1-15. (doi:10.1029/2010JA016358).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Building on work from previous studies a strong case is presented for the existence of a long-term density decline in the thermosphere. Using a specially developed orbital propagator to predict satellite orbit evolution, combined with a new and accurate method of determining satellite ballistic coefficients, a long-term thermospheric density change has been detected using a different method compared to previous studies. Over a 40-year period between the years 1970 and 2010, thermospheric density has appeared to reduce by a few percent per decade. However, the results do not show the thermospheric density reduction to vary linearly with time. Therefore, by analyzing the derived density data over varying solar activity levels, as well as performing a Fourier spectral analysis to highlight any periodicities, connections with physical phenomena, where possible, are proposed

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 20 July 2011
Published date: 13 October 2011
Keywords: ballistic coefficient, long-term trend, thermosphere, thermospheric cooling
Organisations: Aeronautics, Astronautics & Comp. Eng, Astronautics Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 185185
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/185185
ISSN: 0148-0227
PURE UUID: 249ea0d3-b0ea-4abb-8f37-cfa210f9b695

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Date deposited: 09 May 2011 15:45
Last modified: 28 Oct 2019 21:36

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