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I am a Master of Science student in Sweden. I would be grateful if you might help me with a difficult problem in mechanics that I have tried to solve for a long time without success. The problem is a part of a bigger problem that I am trying to solve and is therefore important to me. Here is the problem:
How much power P [W] is needed to force a satellite (modeled as a point particle) to move in a perfect circular orbit with radius r [m]? The mass of the satellite is m [kg] and its tangential speed v [m/s] is constant.
- It is assumed that NO GRAVITY affects the satellite!
- The mass loss due to fuel consumption is neglected.
- The power is assumed to act under ideal conditions, i.e. there is no energy loss due to friction or the choice of engine.
- It is also assumed that v
- Oscar Carlsson (age 20)
(published on 01/29/12)
Follow-Up #1: gravity-free orbit
If there's no gravity influencing the satellite, then there's no orbit! Orbit = moving "straight" in a curvated spacetime. No curvature, i.e. no gravity = moving in a straight line. By the way, power = energy consumption over time. The only thing need is acceleration which is a = F / m. Also, there's nowhere in our universe where there is no gravitationnal influence! The main problem with theories is, they always work perfectly in an perfect universe...
Maybe this orbit is supposed to be maintained by a long string. The original question didn't specify, except to ask us to neglect gravity.
(published on 01/31/12)
Follow-up on this answer.