Orbit determination and prediction study for Dynamic Explorer 2
Abstract
Definitive orbit determination accuracy and orbit prediction accuracy for the Dynamic Explorer2 (DE2) are studied using the trajectory determination system for the period within six weeks of spacecraft reentry. Baseline accuracies using standard orbit determination models and methods are established. A promising general technique for improving the orbit determination accuracy of high drag orbits, estimation of random drag variations at perigee passages, is investigated. This technique improved the fit to the tracking data by a factor of five and improved the solution overlap consistency by a factor of two during a period in which the spacecraft perigee altitude was below 200 kilometers. The results of the DE2 orbit predictions showed that improvement in short term prediction accuracy reduces to the problem of predicting future drag scale factors: the smoothness of the solar 10.7 centimeter flux density suggests that this may be feasible.
 Publication:

NASA STI/Recon Technical Report N
 Pub Date:
 October 1983
 Bibcode:
 1983STIN...8411192S
 Keywords:

 Aerodynamic Drag;
 Dynamics Explorer 2 Satellite;
 Orbit Decay;
 Orbital Position Estimation;
 Atmospheric Density;
 Error Analysis;
 Gravitational Effects;
 Mathematical Models;
 Prediction Analysis Techniques;
 Spacecraft Tracking;
 Astrodynamics