Many future satellite applications will require provision for changing the orbital parameters of the satellite once it is in an initial orbit. Such changes of orbital parameters can range from simple “orbit trimming,” to correct initial guidance or propulsive inaccuracies, to relatively large-scale changes in the orbit for maneuvering purposes.

The magnitudes of impulsive applications of force required to perturb the orbit by desired amounts is calculated for some typical cases, under the assumption of a central force field. From these results, the case of continuously applied forces may be derived.

The treatment is perfectly general, and permits analysis of the effects of arbitrary variations of an arbitrary initial conical motion.

For a few typical cases, the corresponding requirements of propellant consumption of chemical rockets is shown.

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