# Operating

2016-07-17

Let’s face it, space is a risky business. I always considered every launch a barely controlled explosion. – Aaron Cohen, Deputy Administrator of NASA

# Gravity assist

Consider a spacecraft $P$ and a celestial body $O$. When getting close to $O$, the gravity will get important enough to significantly change the trajectory of the spacecraft. The goal is to get it to turn without using any fuel and while keeping the same velocity (in a different direction).

Now, this velocity change is done relatively to $O$.

# Rendez-vous

The goal of rendez-vous is to make the position **and velocity** of a spacecraft $P1$ roughly matching those of $P2$. Once the spacecrafts have performed a rendez-vous, they can do useful action such as docking or crew transfer.

Same position and same velocity means a similar orbit. Once both satellites are revolving around the same body, the first correction is that of inclination: one will perform an inclination change (either (anti-)normal burn, straight burn, or bi-elliptical). When they are orbiting in the same plane, they will have to consort their orbits, and synchronize on the final orbit.

A simple way to do this is to have the orbits joining in one point (say, the periapsis) while their period is significantly different. After a few revolutions, the two spacecraft will get in the common point at the same time and will be able to join their orbit. It is handy to correct the orbits before the last revolution to get a more accurate rendez-vous.

# Satellite coverage

Assume we want to set up a satellite network around a body $O$. The coverage is done with satellites in circular orbits. It is handy to have several satellites around the same orbit; to cover a band on the surface at all time. The fist thing to ensure is that the satellites stays connected.

## Connectivity

We are interested in two values: the closest approach of the lines-of-sight to $O$, notated $h$, that must be greater than the radius of the body $R$ and the distance between the satellites, notated $s$ that must be lower than the range of the satellites antennas ${r}_{a}$.

What we have to choose is the number of satellites $n$ and their distance from $O$, $r$. With, $\mathit{\alpha}=\frac{2\mathit{\pi}}{n}$ and simple trigonometry, we get that:

$$h=r\mathrm{cos}\frac{\mathit{\alpha}}{2}=r\mathrm{cos}\frac{\mathit{\pi}}{n}$$

and

$$s=2r\mathrm{sin}\frac{\mathit{\alpha}}{2}=2r\mathrm{sin}\frac{\mathit{\pi}}{n}$$

Thus, with the requirement that $h>R$ and $s>{r}_{a}$, we need:

$$\frac{R}{\mathrm{cos}\frac{\mathit{\pi}}{n}}<r<\frac{{r}_{a}}{2\mathrm{sin}\frac{\mathit{\pi}}{n}}$$

Conversely, if we want to know the the necessary value of $n$ for a given altitude $r$, we have to ensure that:

$$n\ge \frac{\mathit{\pi}}{\mathrm{arccos}\frac{R}{r}}\text{and}n\ge \frac{\mathit{\pi}}{\mathrm{arcsin}\frac{{r}_{a}}{2r}}$$

Similar information is available on the KSP wiki [3].

## Coverage

The curvature of Kerbin makes that a satellite sees less than half the surface; the closer it is the surface, the less it can see.

We quickly see that $\mathrm{sin}\mathit{\alpha}=\mathrm{cos}\mathit{\beta}=\frac{R}{r}$.

# Light exposition

Consider the typical case of a satellite running on photovoltaic cells. Most of the time, it can relies on the sunlight emitted by the local star. However, for some time during each orbit, it will pass behind its primary (unless it is orbiting the star itself). During that duration, it will thus have to run on batteries. To know the needed electrical capacity, we will need to know how long an episode lasts.

As shown in the schematic above, we can see that $\mathrm{sin}\mathit{\theta}=\frac{{N}_{e}H}{{N}_{e}O}$. Since ${N}_{e}H=R$ (the radius of the primary) and ${N}_{e}O=b\mathrm{cos}\mathit{\theta}$ (the radius of the orbit), we get:

$$\mathrm{sin}\mathit{\theta}=\frac{R}{b}$$

From this, we can determine that the dark time start with eccentric anomaly $E={E}_{s}=\mathit{\pi}-\mathit{\theta}$ and ends at eccentric anomaly $E={E}_{e}=\mathit{\pi}+\mathit{\theta}$. Then:

t_dark
= t(E=E_e) - t(E=E_s)

= 1 (M(E= + ) - M(E= - ))

= 1 (
(

= 2 ( + e )

= 2 (^-1(R) + e R)

# Flight duration

TODO

“Ken Lunn’s Voyager Spacecraft Page”,

2012, web page, Ken Lunn,

http://usuaris.tinet.org/klunn/voyager.html“Cassini interplanetary trajectory”,

2006, SVG diagram, User:Pline,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cassini_interplanet_trajectory.svg“Tutorial: Satellite Coverage”,

2013–2014, KSP wiki article, XZise*et alii*,

http://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/Tutorial:Satellite_Coverage