Mean Motion (revs/day)

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Equation / Last modified by KurtHeckman on 2018/10/11 23:59
MichaelBartmess.Mean Motion (revs/day)

The Mean Motion (revs/day) calculator computes the mean motion based on the number of revolutions (e.g. orbits) in a a period of time.

INSTRUCTIONS: Choose units and enter the following:

  • (R) Amount of rotation
  • (P)  Period of time associated with the amount of rotation.

Mean Motion (rpd): The calculator returns the revolutions per day.  However, this angular velocity can be automatically converted to compatible units via the pull-down menu.

The Math / Science

This vCalc equation computes the angular speed required for a body to complete one orbit, which is called the Mean Motion

Mean motion is expressed as number of revolutions or orbits per unit time. 

A unit revolution may be a revolution, 360 degrees, or 2`pi` radians. 

Period can be expressed in any units of time but more typically is in minutes, hours or days.

Note: the two line element set used to represent an oribital trajectory of an Earth oribiting object represent mean motion in units of `"revs"/"day"`.

Orbit Classifications by Mean Motion or Period

In many Earth orbital analysis systems, classification of orbits are defined by Near Earth Orbits (NEOs -- sometimes called Low Earth Orbits or LEOs) , Medium Earth Orbits (MEOs), Geosynchronous orbits (GEOs), or Deep Space Orbits.  These classes of orbits have arbitrary boundaries defined by their orbital period or mean motion.  Often for instance a NEO is defined as any orbit with a period less than 225 minutes (a mean motion of 6.4 revs/day).

Also See

Astrodynamics Collection