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Torque acting on Satellite, why isn't omega increasing?

  1. Nov 4, 2009 #1
    Torque acting on Satellite, why isn't omega increasing???

    Hey guys,

    HW help problem here, we have a satellite rotating at some constant angular rate, and we are asked to calculate the torque required to maintain said motion. I am able to do this, given the principal Moments of Inertia for the satellite and knowing what my angular rate is. The torque require then equals the cross product of angular rate and the angular moment vectors.

    My problem is this: A torque is acting on the satellite, so why isn't the rotational rate increasing in magnitude?

    Any help is appreciated, I have some ideas, but not sure exactly, looking for confimation, etc. My ideas: the applied torque is changing the magnitudes of the angular rate, thus giving the satellite an "off-axis" rotation as it moves through space. Also, thinking something with the earth's gravity gradient and center of mass and center of gravity opposing this torque, not so sure about the second one.

    Thanks again
  2. jcsd
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