[amsat-bb] Re: Could we raise orbit thru magnetorque?

Bruce Bostwick lihan161051 at sbcglobal.net
Wed Feb 21 09:51:24 PST 2007

That's been my understanding as well.  Magnetorquing by itself can  
drive rotation but not translation.  Its main benefit is that it  
saves propellant, weight, and complexity, as well as moving parts and  
the risk of a hypergolic plumbing assembly exploding and taking out  
half the spacecraft's systems, by allowing the spacecraft to handle  
rotation with more reliable torquing coils and get its energy for  
that from the PV panels.  Changing orbits still requires firing a  
reaction thruster of some sort.

On Feb 20, 2007, at 9:47 AM, John Mock KD6PAG wrote:

>> Argument is:  if when satellite is in the north, a north magnetic  
>> field is
>> applied on z plane, will satellite raise orbit ? Same but opposite  
>> on south.
>> Considering limited energy available could this raise be  
>> significant if
>> applied on all orbits ?.
> I believe magnetorquing can only change the orientation of a  
> satellite and
> not its orbit.  It is certainly used in the process of changing an  
> orbit,
> in order to get a thrusting device pointing in a direction where it  
> will
> do something useful. But by itself, it can't change an orbit.  It  
> can help
> point antennas in the proper direction, etc.
> 		         -- KD6PAG  (Networking Old-Timer, Satellite QRPer)

"People don't like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what  
to think, don't run, don't walk. We're in their homes and in their  
heads and we haven't the right. We're meddlesome." -- River Tam,  

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