DK3WN SatBlog

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Decay



Low Earth orbiting satellites experience orbital decay and have physical lifetimes determined almost entirely by their interaction with the atmosphere. The drag force that such a satellite experiences is due to its interaction with the few air molecules that are present at these altitudes. The density of the atmosphere at LEO heights is controlled by solar X-ray flux and particle precipitation from the magnetosphere and so varies with the current space weather conditions.

last update: 2017-05-15 18:20:34.970 UTC
10.8 cm flux = 71.000000

date             satellite   norad   epoch          decay

2017-12-12  ==>  NODES-2     41477   17134.498044   17346.223310
2017-12-22  ==>  NODES-1     41478   17134.213122   17356.495826
2018-12-26  ==>  STARS-CM    41895   17134.597641   18360.218294
2018-12-26  ==>  STARS-CD    41895   17134.597641   18360.218294
2019-11-08  ==>  VELOX-III   41935   17134.289591   19312.848436
2019-12-27  ==>  ITF-2       41932   17134.550005   19361.760283

 
calculations based on SatEvo