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The Orbit of the Phase 3-D Spacecraft

The final orbit will be reached in several steps.
  1. After the launch, P3-D is in the transfer orbit for geosynchronous orbits.
  2. Through firing the 400N motor in the apogee, the perigee height will be increased to 4000 km.
  3. Through another firing at perogee, the apogee will be increased to 47000 km.
  4. At apogee, the motor will burn again, to get an inclination of 60 degrees.
  5. After a period of two years, whilst the apogee drifts to the northern hemisphere, the ATOS motor will change the orbit to a final inclination of 63,4 degrees.
  6. After that time, the ATOS motor can be used for small changes of the orbit.

The Final Orbit

The final orbit can be seen on the following drawing.

The 400 N motor will give the orbit an inclination of 60 degrees. The final inclination will be 63,4 degrees.

The Ground Track

The satellite will be most of the time over Northern America, Europe or Japan.

Fictitious Keplerian Elements

W3XO and WD4FAB published a set of sample keplerians in July 1993 QST:

year 1991
epoch time 80.0
inclination 63.4343
RAAN 225.0
eccentricity 0.6774378
Argument of Perigee 220.0
Mean Anomaly 0.0
Mean Motion 1.5
Decay Rate 0.0
orbit number 0
Table 1: Fictitious Keplerian Elements for P3D

This is complete fiction of course, but you can run your tracking program to get some idea of how much coverage you will get each day. Note that the ground track and rise and set times repeat almost exactly every 48 hours.

Last updated: Sep 30, 1996
by Ralf Zimmermann, DL1FDT