Attitude and Spin Period of Space Debris Envisat Measured by Satellite Laser Ranging

Kucharski, Daniel; Kirchner, Georg; Koidl, Franz; Fan, Cunbo; Carman, Randall; Moore, Christopher; Dmytrotsa, Andriy; Ploner, Martin; Bianco, Giuseppe; Medvedskij, Mikhailo; Makeyev, Andriy; Appleby, Graham; Suzuki, Michihiro; Torre, Jean-Marie; Zhongping, Zhang; Grunwaldt, Ludwig; Feng, Qu (2014). Attitude and Spin Period of Space Debris Envisat Measured by Satellite Laser Ranging. IEEE transactions on geoscience and remote sensing, 52(12), pp. 7651-7657. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IEEE 10.1109/TGRS.2014.2316138

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The Environmental Satellite (Envisat) mission was finished on April 8, 2012, and since that time, the attitude of the satellite has undergone significant changes. During the In-
ternational Laser Ranging Service campaign, the Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) stations have performed the range measurements to the satellite that allowed determination of the attitude and the spin period of Envisat during seven months of 2013. The spin axis
of the satellite is stable within the radial coordinate system (RCS; fixed with the orbit) and is pointing in the direction opposite to the normal vector of the orbital plane in such a way that the spin axis makes an angle of 61.86◦ with the nadir vector and 90.69◦ with
the along-track vector. The offset between the symmetry axis of the retroreflector panel and the spin axis of the satellite is 2.52 m and causes the meter-scale oscillations of the range measurements between the ground SLR system and the satellite during a pass.
Envisat rotates in the counterclockwise (CCW) direction, with an inertial period of 134.74 s (September 25, 2013), and the spin period increases by 36.7 ms/day.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Ploner, Martin (B)


500 Science > 520 Astronomy




Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IEEE




Alessandro Vananti

Date Deposited:

01 Feb 2018 09:44

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:35

Publisher DOI:





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