Chaotic transport of navigation satellites

Ioannis Gkolias, Jerome Daquin, Despoina K. Skoulidou, Kleomenis Tsiganis, Christos Efthymiopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Navigation satellites are known from numerical studies to reside in a dynamically sensitive environment, which may be of profound importance for their long-term sustainability. We derive the fundamental Hamiltonian of Global Navigation Satellite System dynamics and show analytically that near-circular trajectories lie in the neighborhood of a Normally Hyperbolic Invariant Manifold (NHIM), which is the primary source of hyperbolicity. Quasicircular orbits escape through chaotic transport, regulated by NHIM's stable and unstable manifolds, following a power-law escape time distribution P (t) ∼ t - α, with α ∼ 0.8 - 1.5. Our study is highly relevant for the design of satellite disposal trajectories, using manifold dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101106
JournalChaos: an interdisciplinary journal of nonlinear science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


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