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Preliminary results to support evidence of thermospheric contraction

Saunders, A., Swinerd, G.G. and Lewis, H.G. (2009) Preliminary results to support evidence of thermospheric contraction At Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference. 01 - 04 Sep 2009. 8 pp.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Atmospheric density has an important influence in predicting the positions of satellites in low Earth orbit. For long-term predictions of satellite ephemerides, any future density trend in the thermosphere would be a valuable input, not only to satellite operators, but also to studies of the future low Earth orbit environment in terms of space debris. A secular thermospheric density trend has not yet been definitively proven but predictions by Roble and Ramesh [1], along with evidence by Keating et al. [2] and Emmert et al. [3 & 4], strongly suggest the existence of such a phenomenon. With the ultimate goal of deriving a long-term empirical model of thermospheric cooling and contraction, the primary focus of this paper is to present preliminary results obtained to support the existing evidence for such a thermospheric contraction. The results from four satellites over 30 years indicate a thermospheric mass density decline of -4.1 ± 0.7 % per decade above an altitude of approximately 355 km

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e-pub ahead of print date: 2009
Published date: September 2009
Venue - Dates: Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference, 2009-09-01 - 2009-09-04
Organisations: Astronautics Group


Local EPrints ID: 68968
PURE UUID: 7f017dba-c774-4bac-8a7b-fa110a2f106b

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Date deposited: 13 Oct 2009
Last modified: 19 Jul 2017 00:15

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Author: A. Saunders
Author: G.G. Swinerd
Author: H.G. Lewis

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