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On some aspects of the albedo effect application to the ERS-1 satellite

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Some aspects of the perturbative influence of radiation reflected by the Earth's surface on the motion of an artificial satellite are discussed. We concentrate on consequences of the extreme models with anisotropic reflection on the Earth's surface (specular reflection, clouds with anisotropic phase function). The possible effects of Lála's modification of the Earth's albedo nominal value are investigated. The role of the satellite surface optical properties is pointed out in the context of the albedo effect. All mentioned models are purely numerical. The whole message of the paper can be summarized in the following items

  • -It is very doubtful that the 10−8 ÷ 10−9 m s−2 level is reached when determining the perturbing accelerations caused by the albedo effect in the case of the ERS-1 satellite due to poorly defined optical characteristics of the Earth's atmosphere, the Earth and the satellite's surface.

  • -In the general case this albedo effect uncertainty level is about 50% with respect to the averaged values, and probably as high as 100% with respect to the instantaneous values of the perturbing accelerations.

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Vokrouhlický, D., Sehnal, L. On some aspects of the albedo effect application to the ERS-1 satellite. Celestial Mech Dyn Astr 56, 471–490 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00691814

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Key words

  • Artificial satellites
  • nongravitational perturbations
  • albedo effect