Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 864953, 8 pages
Research Article

Lifetime Estimation of the Upper Stage of GSAT-14 in Geostationary Transfer Orbit

Department of Aerospace Engineering, Karunya University, Karunya Nagar, Coimbatore 641114, India

Received 17 April 2014; Revised 18 June 2014; Accepted 28 July 2014; Published 29 October 2014

Academic Editor: Dimitrios A. Karras

Copyright © 2014 Jim Fletcher Jeyakodi David and Ram Krishan Sharma. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The combination of atmospheric drag and lunar and solar perturbations in addition to Earth’s oblateness influences the orbital lifetime of an upper stage in geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). These high eccentric orbits undergo fluctuations in both perturbations and velocity and are very sensitive to the initial conditions. The main objective of this paper is to predict the reentry time of the upper stage of the Indian geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle, GSLV-D5, which inserted the satellite GSAT-14 into a GTO on January 05, 2014, with mean perigee and apogee altitudes of 170 km and 35975 km. Four intervals of near linear variation of the mean apogee altitude observed were used in predicting the orbital lifetime. For these four intervals, optimal values of the initial osculating eccentricity and ballistic coefficient for matching the mean apogee altitudes were estimated with the response surface methodology using a genetic algorithm. It was found that the orbital lifetime from these four time spans was between 144 and 148 days.