REFAG 2014 pp 201-207 | Cite as

Towards Improved Lunar Reference Frames: LRO Orbit Determination

  • Anno LöcherEmail author
  • Franz Hofmann
  • Philipp Gläser
  • Isabel Haase
  • Jürgen Müller
  • Jürgen Kusche
  • Jürgen Oberst
Conference paper
Part of the International Association of Geodesy Symposia book series (IAG SYMPOSIA, volume 146)


Lunar reference systems are currently realized by sets of coordinates of the few laser reflectors deployed by Apollo astronauts and unmanned Soviet spacecrafts. Expanding this coordinate knowledge to other features identifiable in images of the lunar surface requires highly accurate orbits of the acquiring spacecraft. To support such activities using images and altimetry data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), an independent processing facility for tracking observations to LRO has been established. We present orbits from 1 year radio Doppler, radio ranging and laser ranging data obtained by different combinations of data types. To obtain an external confirmation for the achieved orbit accuracy, coordinates of the Apollo 15 reflector were measured in LRO images by photogrammetric techniques and compared to reference values from Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR). Coordinate differences were found to be at the 10 m level.


Lunar Laser Ranging Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Precise orbit determination 



This research was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the research unit FOR 1503 “Space-Time Reference Systems for Monitoring Global Change and for Precise Navigation in Space”. In addition, J. Oberst was hosted by MIIGAiK and supported by Russian Science Foundation, project #14-22-00197.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anno Löcher
    • 1
    Email author
  • Franz Hofmann
    • 2
  • Philipp Gläser
    • 3
  • Isabel Haase
    • 3
  • Jürgen Müller
    • 2
  • Jürgen Kusche
    • 1
  • Jürgen Oberst
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut für Geodäsie und GeoinformationUniversität BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.Institut für ErdmessungLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany
  3. 3.Institut für Geodäsie und GeoinformationstechnikTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Moscow State University for Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAiK)MoscowRussia

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