Purpose. Photometry in conjunction with positional observations is currently the main method of controlling the operation of artificial space objects in orbit with which radio communication is lost. This paper presents an analysis of long-range photometric observations of low-orbital artificial Earth satellites of various functionality class.
Methods. A methodological approach to determining the dynamic characteristics of the behavior of space objects in orbit using photometric information in the form of light curves is considered. It is based on studies of the characteristics of the object’s own rotation and their causes.
Results. 40 years of experience in such studies has made it possible to evaluate virtually all possible factors affecting its functional dynamics by changes in the light of an object. The paper presents six reasons for the occurrence of a satellite’s own rotation in the Earth’s orbit. They cover both natural factors and the effects of human intervention.
Conclusions. If the size and mass of the destabilized satellites are known, then this satellite can be used as an indicator of the course of physical processes in the Earth’s atmosphere at the height of the satellite’s orbit. The variants of finding the period of own rotation of the object in manual and automatic modes are described
Keywords: period, satellite, rotation, photometry, light curve