By Elwyn R. Berlekamp
This paper is a survey of coding idea written for mathematicians and statisticians who've a few familiarity with glossy algebra, finite fields, and probably a few acquaintance with block designs. No wisdom of stochastic approaches, details conception, or conversation idea is needed.
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Extra resources for A Survey of Algebraic Coding Theory: Lectures Held at the Department of Automation and Information, July 1970
An interesting consequence of the dynamics of momentum exchange tethers is that in this case it is possible to ``push'' on a cable! On Earth, cables can be used only to pull things with, because they go slack the moment you release the tension on them. However, if we push the lower satellite in our example, for example using a rocket motor, it goes into a higher orbit. As a consequence, the upper satellite is given some leeway and allowed to increase its altitude as well, until blocked once more by the pull of the tether.
If the new orbit intersects Earth's atmosphere, that is, if the perigee is too low, the lower satellite will actually reenter the atmosphere. Momentum exchange tethers can thus be used to return cargo capsules back to Earth or make obsolete satellites leave orbit and burn up in the atmosphere. The upper, ``too fast'' satellite, on the other hand, will shoot away to a higher altitude because it has too much energy. Its elliptical orbit will have its perigee at the altitude of the satellites original, forced orbit, but a higher apogee than before.
Hence, looking back from the end of the tether, the closer to the geostationary point, the higher the loads on the cable. On the opposite side, the part going down from the geostationary point to Earth, there is a similar effect; in this case the cable is pulling down and trying to fall back to the surface. The tension force in the space elevator is thus highest at the geostationary point and diminishing in each direction.