SECULAR TERMS

In the mathematical expression of the orbit of a satellite, terms which are proportional to time, resulting in secular perturbations.

Related Terms

NUTATING ANTENNA

An antenna system used in conical scan radar, in which a dipole or feed horn moves in a small circular orbit about the axis of a paraboloidal reflector without changing its polarization.

INCLINATION OF AN ORBIT

1. See INCLINATION, definition 2. 2. As defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the angle determined by the plane containing an orbit and the plane of th

INTERMEDIATE ORBIT

A central force orbit that is tangent to the real (or disturbed) orbit at some point. A fictitious satellite traveling in the intermediate orbit would have the same position, but not the same velocity, as the real satellite at the point of tangency

LINE OF NODES

The straight line connecting the two points of intersection of the orbit of a planet, planetoid, or comet and the ecliptic; or the line of intersection of the planes of the orbits of a satellite and the equator of its primary.

LINE OF APSIDES

The line connecting the two points of an orbit that are nearest and farthest from the center of attraction, such as the perigee and apogee of the moon or the perihelion and aphelion of a planet. Also called APSE LINE.

APSIS

Either of the two orbital points nearest or farthest from the center of attraction, the perihelion and aphelion in the case of an orbit about the sun, and the perigee and apogee in the case of an orbit about the earth. The line connecting these two points is called LINE OF APSIDES.

APOCENTER

In an elliptical orbit, the point in the orbit which is the farthest distance from the focus, where the attracting mass is located. The apocenter is at one end of the major axis of the orbital ellipse. The opposite is PERICENTER, PERIFOCUS, PERIAPSIS. Also called APOAPSIS, APOFOCUS

APHELION

That point in the elliptical orbit of a body about the sun farthest from the sun. That point nearest the sun is called PERIHELION.

APOGEE

That orbital point of a non-circular orbit farthest from the center of attraction. Opposite is PERIGEE

ANTINODE

Either of the two points on an orbit where a line in the orbit plane, perpendicular to the line of nodes, and passing through the focus, intersects the orbit.

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