Accuracy of Satellite Orbits Obtainable by Synchronous Satellite Tracking

  • C. F. Martin
Part of the COSPAR-IAU-IAG/IUGG-IUTAM book series (IUTAM)


A comprehensive error analysis is made of the accuracy of satellite orbits (both low altitude and highly eccentric) which can be obtained from range and range rate measurements by synchronous satellites. Included in the investigation are the effects of measurements noise and biases, earth based station location errors, and geopotential coefficient errors. Results are presented for each source in the form of satellite epoch element errors and position errors propagated along the trajectory for a nominal three day tracking period. All correlations are fully accounted for between the effects of the various error sources on epoch elements and on trajectory. All analyses are performed for tracking by both a single synchronous satellite and by three synchronous satellites spaced 120° apart.


Gravity Model Error Source Orbital Element Satellite Orbit Tracking Period 
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    Guier, W. H., Newton, R. R.: The Earth’s Gravitational Field as Deduced from the Doppler Tracking of Five Satellites. J. Geophys. Res. 70 (18), September 1965.Google Scholar
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    Marsh, J. G.: Orbital Analysis and Prediction for the GEOS Satellites Using Different Sets of Geopotential Coefficients. Trans. Am. Geophys. Union 50(4), April 1969.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. F. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Sciences Division, Space and Planetary Sciences DepartmentWolf Research and Development CorporationRiverdaleUSA

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