Stationkeeping is the ongoing process of maintaining a satellite’s position within its intended orbit. It involves using propulsion systems and control mechanisms to counteract orbital perturbations caused by various factors, such as gravitational forces from celestial bodies, atmospheric drag, and solar radiation pressure.

Satellites are subject to gravitational forces from the Earth, the Moon, and other celestial bodies, which can gradually change their orbits over time. Additionally, atmospheric drag and solar radiation pressure can exert forces on the satellite, causing it to deviate from its desired orbital position. To ensure the satellite remains in its designated orbit, stationkeeping manoeuvres are performed to make adjustments and compensate for these perturbations.

Stationkeeping manoeuvres typically involve firing thrusters or other propulsion systems to change the satellite’s velocity and alter its orbit. By carefully calculating the required changes and timing the manoeuvres appropriately, satellite operators can counteract the effects of gravitational forces and maintain the desired orbital parameters, such as altitude, inclination, and eccentricity.