Strategies for Precise Orbit Determination of Low Earth Orbiters Using the GPS

  • U. Hugentobler
  • G. Beutler
Part of the Space Sciences Series of ISSI book series (SSSI, volume 17)


Considerable experience accumulated during the past decade in strategies for processing (GPS data from ground-based geodetic receivers. First experience on the use of GPS observations from spaceborne receivers for orbii determination of satellites on low altitude orbits was gained with the launch of TOPEX/POSEIDON ten years ago. The launch of the CHAMP satellite in July 2000 stimulated a number of activities worldwide on improving the strategies and algorithms for orbit determination for Low Earth Orbiters (LEOs) using the GPS.

Similar strategies as for ground based receivers are applied to data from spaceborne GPS receivers to detcrminc high precision orbits. Zero- and double-difierencing techniques arc applied to obtain kinematic and/or reduced-dynamic orbits with an accuracy which is today at the decimeter level. Further developments in modeling and processing strategies will continuously improve the quality of GPS-derived LEO orbits in the near future. A significant improvement can be expected from fixing double-difkrencc phase ambiguities to integer numbers. Particular studies focus on the impact of a combined processing of LEO and GPS orbits on the quality of orbits and the reference frame realization.


Global Position System Ambiguity Resolution Orbit Determination Satellite Laser Range Global Position System Data 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beutler, G.. M. Rothacher, S. Schaer, T. A. Springer, J. Kouba, R. E. Neilan: 1999, ‘The International GPS Service (IGS): An Interdisciplinary Service in Support of Earth Sciences’. Advances in Space Research 23. No. 4, 531–653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bisnath, S. B., R. B. Langley: 1999. Precise A Posteriori Geometric Tracking of Low Earth Orbiters with GPS’. Canadian Aeronautics and Space Journal 45, No. 3. 245–252.Google Scholar
  3. Bock, H., U. Hugentobler, T. A. Springer, G. Beutler: 2002, ‘Efficient Precise Orbit Determination of LEO Satellites using GPS’. Advances in Space Research 30, No. 2, 295–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boomkamp. H.: 2002. ‘CHAMP Orbit Comparison Campaign’. http:/ campaign.htmlGoogle Scholar
  5. Butter, W.J., Y. E. Bar-Sever, E. J. Christensen, E. S. Davis, J. R. Guinn, B.J. Haines, R. W. IbanezMeyer, J. R. Jee, S. M. Lichten. W. G. Melbourne. R. J. Muellerschoen, T. N. Munson, Y. Vigue, S. C. Wu, T. P. Yunck, B. E. Schutz, P. A. M. Abusali, H. J. Rim, M. M. Watkins, P. Willis: 1994, ‘GPS Precise Tracking of TOPEX/POSEIDON: Results and Implications’. Journal of Geophysical Research 99, No. C12, 24.449–24.464.Google Scholar
  6. Hofmami-Wellenhof. B.. H. Lichtenegger, J. Collins: 1995. ‘GPS. Theory and Practice’, fourth edition, Springer. Wien. New York. 1997.Google Scholar
  7. Rim, H. J., B. E. Schutz, P. A. M. Abusali, B. D. Tapley: 1995, ‘Effect of GPS Orbit Accuracy on UPS-Determined TOPEXIPOSE1DON Orbit’. In Proceedings of ION GPS-95. 613–617, September 12–15. 1995.Google Scholar
  8. Svehla, D., M. Rothacher: 2001, ‘Kinematic Orbit Determination of LEOs Based on Zero or Double- Difference Algorithms Using Simulated and Real SST CPS Data’. In Vistas for Geodesy in the New Millenium, Schwarz K.P, Adam J.. (Eds). Springer JAG Vol. 125, 322–328.Google Scholar
  9. Theunissen, R J. G: 2001, The Probability Distribution of the Ambiguity Bootstrapped GPS Baseline. Journal of Geodesy 75. 267–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Visser, P. N. A. M.. J. van den l,issel: 2001. ‘GPS-Based Precise Orbit Determination of the Very Low Earth-Orbiting Gravity Mission GOCE’. Journal of Geodesy 74. 590–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Zhu, S., H. Neumayer, F. H. Massmann. C. SM. C. Reigber: 2002, impact of Different Data Combinations on the C1-L and MP Orbit Determination’. In Proceedings of the IGS Workshop 2002. in press, Ottawa, April 8–12, 2002.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Hugentobler
    • 1
  • G. Beutler
    • 1
  1. 1.Astronomical InstituteUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations