Satellite Orbits and Attitude

  • Urs Hugentobler
  • Oliver Montenbruck
Part of the Springer Handbooks book series (SHB)


This chapter discusses fundamentals of orbital dynamics and provides a description of key perturbations affecting global navigation satellite system (GNSS ) satellites along with their impact on the orbits. Models for perturbing accelerations including Earth gravity, third body perturbations, surface forces, and relativistic corrections are described with emphasis on empirical and semiempirical solar radiation pressure models. Long-term evolution of GNSS orbits and orbit keeping maneuvers are discussed. The concepts of broadcast orbit models such as almanac models, analytical ephemeris models and numerical ephemeris models used by current GNSS systems are presented along with cook book algorithms and a summary of their performance. Complementary to the discussion of GNSS satellite orbits, the chapter introduces the basic concepts of GNSS satellite attitude, which are, for example, required to describe the antenna location relative to the center-of-mass.


Global Position System Global Navigation Satellite System Global Navigation Satellite System Satellite Laser Range International GNSS Service 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

civil navigation message


Center for Orbit Determination in Europe




Empirical CODE Orbit Model


geostationary Earth orbit


Global’naya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikova Sistema (Russian Global Navigation Satellite System)


global navigation satellite system


Global Positioning System


interface control document


International GNSS Service


inclined geo-synchronous orbit


in-orbit validation


International Terrestrial Reference Frame


Jet Propulsion Laboratory


legacy navigation message


medium Earth orbit


Quasi-Zenith Satellite System


right ascension of ascending node


root mean square


satellite-based augmentation system


satellite laser ranging


space vehicle number


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Urs Hugentobler
    • 1
  • Oliver Montenbruck
    • 2
  1. 1.Satellite GeodesyTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.German Aerospace Center (DLR)WesslingGermany

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