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Technical Paper

A Simplified Orbit Analysis Program for Spacecraft Thermal Design

This paper presents a simplified orbit analysis program developed to calculate orbital parameters for the thermal analysis of spacecraft and space-flight instruments. The program calculates orbit data for inclined and sunsynchronous earth orbits. Traditional orbit analyses require extensive knowledge of orbital mechanics to produce a simplified set of data for thermal engineers. This program was created to perform orbital analyses with minimal input and provides the necessary output for thermal analysis codes. Engineers will find the program to be a valuable analysis tool for fast and simple orbit calculations. A description of the program inputs and outputs is included. An overview of orbital mechanics for inclined and Sun-synchronous orbits is also presented. Finally, several sample cases are presented to illustrate the thermal analysis applications of the program.