Copyright © 2009 Luiz Danilo Damasceno Ferreira and Rodolpho Vilhena de Moraes. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The effects of perturbations due to resonant geopotential harmonics on the semimajor axis of GPS satellites are analyzed. For some GPS satellites, secular perturbations of about 4 m/day can be obtained by numerical integration of the Lagrange planetary equations considering in the disturbing potential the main secular resonant coefficients. Amplitudes for long-period terms due to resonant coefficients are also exhibited for some hypothetical satellites orbiting in the neighborhood of the GPS satellites orbits. The results are important to perform orbital maneuvers of GPS satellites such that they stay in their nominal orbits. Also, for the GPS satellites that are not active, the long-period effects due to the resonance must be taken into account in the surveillance of the orbital evolutions of such debris.