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Precise orbit determination of high-earth elliptical orbiters using differenced Doppler and ranging measurements

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1 Author(s)
Estefan, J.A. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., CA, USA

Recent advances in NASA's Deep Space Network station calibration methods have led to renewed interest in the use of differenced radio metric data types for interplanetary navigation, particularly differenced Doppler and range. An orbit determination error analysis is described which compares the performance of these differenced data types when used in concert with conventional two-way Doppler for precise navigation for high-earth orbiters. Three highly elliptical orbits were investigated, with apogee heights on the order of 20000, 70000, and 156000 km. The analysis assumes that each orbiter's downlink antennas has no ground footprint limitation in the near apogee regime. Results indicate that the most significant navigational accuracy improvements are seen for the lowest altitude orbit by using differenced Doppler measurements in conjunction with two-way Doppler. The results for the two higher-altitude orbits, although less dramatic, suggest accuracy improvements can also be achieved when differenced range measurements are combined with two-way Doppler.<>

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 5 )