Determining the ground track period of a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite is a relatively simple process that requires a basic understanding of the satellite's orbit parameters.
The ground track period is the time interval between successive ground traces of a satellite on the Earth's surface. In essence, it is the time it takes for a satellite to complete one orbit around the Earth, while its position on the ground traces one complete rotation.
To determine the ground track period of a LEO satellite, you will need to know the satellite's altitude (h), the semi-major axis (a) of its elliptical orbit, and the Earth's rotational period (P).
To calculate the ground track period, use the following formula:
Ground track period = (2 x pi x a3/2)/sqr(mu)
Where mu (mu = G x M) is the standard gravitational parameter of the Earth, G is the gravitational constant (6.6743 x 10^-11 Nm2/kg2), and M is the mass of the Earth (5.9722 x 1024 kg).
To obtain a valid result, all values must be expressed in units of the metric system. These values can be easily obtained from publicly available data sources. NASA's website may be a useful resource for those seeking such data points.
In conclusion, determining the ground track period of a LEO satellite requires basic knowledge of the satellite's orbit parameters and Earth's rotational period. It is a relatively simple calculation using the formula provided above. With accurate and precise values of the required parameters, estimating the ground track period can be done easily.