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Orbit determination modeling analysis by GPS including perturbations due to geopotential coefficients of high degree and order, solar radiation pressure and luni-solar attraction

Author(s): Paula C. P. M. Pardal | Rodolpho Vilhena de Moraes | Helio K. Kuga

Journal: Journal of Aerospace Technology and Management
ISSN 1984-9648

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 79;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Orbit determination | GPS | Orbit perturbations | Geopotential | Solar radiation pressure | Luni-solar gravitational attraction

The purpose of this paper was to analyze the modeling of an artificial satellite orbit, using signals of the GPS constellation and least squares algorithms as the method of estimation, with the aim of analyzing the performance of the orbit estimation process. One pursues to verify how differences of modeling can affect the final accuracy of orbit determination. To accomplish that, the following effects were considered: high degree and order for the geopotential coefficients; direct solar radiation pressure; and Sun-Moon attraction. The measurements were used to feed the batch least squares orbit determination process, in order to yield conclusive results about the orbit modeling issue. An application has been done, using GPS data of the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite, whose accurate ephemeris are available on the Internet. It is shown that from a poor but acceptable modeling up to all effects included, the accuracy can vary from 28 to 9m in the long-period analysis.
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