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So I can do an initial separation using Astrogator by using different areas. What I need to do now is to define a distance and at that distance the area that the satellites are propagating changes. Any idea how to define that in the astrogator?

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I believe this will work, although I haven't fully tried it out. You should be able to do this on both satellites, or on just one satellite. There may be other ways of doing it as well. I will assume we are only making the changes on one satellite.

  • In your Propagate segment within Astrogator, set up a new "R Magnitude" stopping condition.
  • Select the other satellite as the Reference Point
  • Set the distance (trip) and criterion as "Cross Increasing"
  • The satellite will propagate until the straight line distance between the two exceeds your trip point.
  • After the Propagate segment create an Update segment, which lets you update the drag area of your satellite.
  • Create new Propagate segment to continue the propagation.
  • Repeat as needed.

This uses a straight line distance between the satellites. If you want to have distances that are in-track or if you really are looking at separations in true anomaly you will have to do something different.

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