RE: Iridium spares

From: Matson, Robert (ROBERT.D.MATSON@saic.com)
Date: Tue Feb 12 2002 - 18:41:24 EST

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    Hi Sebastian,
    
    > since all Iridiums have about the same inclination and orbit type,
    > there is no relative drift between the orbital planes and because
    > of the very near polar orbit no variation of RA of ascend. node at
    > all.
    
    Not quite.  The spares are at a lower altitude.  This leads to a
    slightly different nodal precession rate.  This differential
    precession is pretty low (less than 1 degree per day) for
    satellites with high inclinations, so it can take quite a
    while depending on the target plane.
    
    Best,
    Rob
    
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