Re: More on GEOSAT solar arrays

From: Lloyd Wood (
Date: Wed Dec 25 2002 - 13:48:09 EST

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    On Tue, 24 Dec 2002, Matson, Robert wrote:
    > > to be clear - the panels rotate the same to follow the sun.
    > Agreed, but not germane to the question of what the satellite will
    > do once it is retired.
    > > They're topologically equivalent - with equivalent moments of inertia.
    > Topologically yes -- moments of inertia, no -- not unless you're
    > assuming the mass of the arrays is next to nothing compared to
    > the satellite body.
    that's a reasonable assumption.
    > And even if the arrays weighed practically
    > nothing, they are still the primary source of torque due to
    > solar radiation pressure.  --Rob
    the arrays _do_ WEIGH practically nothing. They're in freefall...
    the torque from solar radiation tends to balance out across the craft
    thanks to symmetry - unless the body is shadowing a large proportion
    of the furthest panel, which tends to lead to rotation to counter the
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