Satellite Trajectory Determination and their Expected Errors OGO-IV, GEOS-I

  • F. O. Vonbun
Conference paper
Part of the COSPAR-IAU-IAG/IUGG-IUTAM book series (IUTAM)


Precision trajectory determination, as needed for some of NASA’s spacecraft, requires a close analysis of the errors of the state vector. Particularly important is the determination and separation of the errors caused by the tracking systems from those caused by the trajectory determination process. Only a very good understanding of this effect will lead to the required decrease of trajectory errors.

In this paper, orbits from GEOS-A and OGO spacecraft are analyzed and their trajectory errors estimated using our precision Definitive Orbit Determination System. Then, a tracking systems error study is performed to determine those errors of the state vector which are due only to the tracking systems. From these it is concluded that the major contribution to the total errors in the state is due to the uncertainties in the trajectory analysis geopotential, integration procedures, etc.) rather than from the errors of our present worldwide distributed tracking stations . Therefore, future work to improve our orbit determination capability will be directed to improve our software capability.


Tracking System Orbit Determination Error Theory Tracking Station Trajectory Error 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. O. Vonbun
    • 1
  1. 1.Goddard Space Flight CenterNational Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbeltUSA

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