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    Force on a Satellite Due to Drag

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    Calculate the force on a satellite due to drag and the mass of propellant needed to overcome the drag force.

    Sun synchronous orbit alt = 700 km
    Mass of satellite = 800 kg
    Assume Cd = 2
    Thruster Isp = 80 s
    Propellant = N2 (Molecular Weight = 28, etc)
    Propellant temperature = 280 K
    Length of satellite = 4 m
    Width (diameter) of satellite = 1 m

    F = (1/2*m)*Cd*A*density*V^2 but how would you calculate the mass of propellant needed.

    Please show all steps.

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    https://brainmass.com/physics/orbits/force-satellite-due-drag-207769

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    The drag force is

    F =(Cd/2)*rho*A*V^2,

    where

    Cd = 2 (given),

    and we address the values of A, rho, and V below.

    The momentum "eaten up" by the drag over lifetime T is

    P_lost = F*T = (Cd/2)*rho*A*V^2 *T.

    The momentum added by emitting the propellant over the lifetime is

    P_added = Isp * g * M,

    where

    Isp = 80 s

    is the given thruster specific impulse (e.g. see definitions at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specific_impulse),

    g = 9.8 m/s^2

    is the free fall ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution calculates the force on a satellite due to drag and the mass of the propellant needed to overcome the drag force.

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