Long-arc analyses of SLR observations of the Etalon geodetic satellites
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In this paper we describe the results of an analysis of a 2.5-year set of satellite laser range observations of the two Etalon geodetic satellites. We fit continuous orbits to the range observations, and map the range residuals into series of equivalent orbital element residuals, considering in detail the orbital longitude, eccentricity and nodal residuals. We use the longitude residuals to study thermal effects acting on the satellites and compare the results with those published for the Lageos satellites. We discuss the differences between the two series of eccentricity residuals, and again compare the results with those from Lageos. Finally we use the nodal residuals to investigate the potential for determination of UT1 of the reference frame defined by the orbits of the Etalon satellites.
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