Wednesday 6 November 2013

Brief (semi-) daily GOCE update, 6 November

GOCE's perigee is now below 183.5 km, the average orbit has dropped to 187 km (from 227.5 km originally). The orbital droprate is now close to 5 km/day.

The nominal forecast re-entry window is currently a two-day period centered on Nov 10.90 UT. However, see the caveat in my previous post. If GOCE loses its current drag-reducing attitude (flight orientation), the re-entry forecast above will turn completely obsolete.

A more elaborate explanation of factors involved can be found in my previous post, including an explanation on why re-entry forecasts for GOCE must be approached very cautiously.

Forecasts were made using Alan Pickup's SatAna and SatEvo software: for an explanation on the workings of this software and factors of influence, see an earlier post here.

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