orbital decay


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orbital decay

[′ȯr·bəd·əl di′kā]
(aerospace engineering)
The lessening of the eccentricity of the elliptical orbit of an artificial satellite.
(atomic physics)
A change of an atom from one energy state to another of lower energy in which the orbital of one of the electrons changes.
References in periodicals archive ?
If none of that checked out, then we will look at satellites that are [in orbital decay and are in the process of re-entry to the earth's atmosphere]," Al Hariri explained.
The drags sails, each with an area of approximately one square meter, are intended to decrease the ballistic coefficient of the satellite and use atmospheric drag to accelerate orbital decay.
Diwata-1 was launched from the International Space Station on April 27 last year at a 400-km altitude in low Earth orbit, where satellites naturally experience quicker rapid orbital decay and altitude loss.
Ganymede also has a synchronous orbit around Jupiter, so any Ganymede satellite would likely orbit faster than it would rotate, inducing orbital decay.
Astronomers know of just four other binary systems with orbits under 15 minutes, and all of those systems are transferring mass from one star to the other, which complicates observations of orbital decay and the interpretation of these changes in terms of gravitational waves.
15) The overriding concern regarding space debris is the mutual interest in limiting its effects and in creating a joint effort to decrease the amount of debris so that, eventually, orbital decay and gravity would prevail.
The key to this destructive process of orbital decay is the interaction of atmospheric particles (air) against the spacecraft; that is, atmospheric interaction raises the external temperature, severely weakening the satellite's protective structure or burning up the spacecraft.
To the Editor: A letter to the editor in January's Mechanical Engineering states that satellite temperature data agree with surface temperature measurement based on the discovery of slight orbital decay by Frank Wentz and Matthias Schabel.
Today, NASA designs lighter rocket bodies and sends them into lower orbits to increase atmospheric drag and accelerate orbital decay.
The only information from LDEF so far is its orbital decay," says LDEF program manager E.
Eventually, the orbital decay produced a period that was only somewhat longer than the present-day value.
We have shown that orbital decay due to tides raised in the planet by the satellite may be much less efficient that previously thought," they said.