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GPS-Based Precision Orbit Determination for a New Era of Altimeter Satellites: Jason-1 and ICESatAccurate positioning of the satellite center of mass is necessary in meeting an altimeter mission's science goals. The fundamental science observation is an altimetric derived topographic height. Errors in positioning the satellite's center of mass directly impact this fundamental observation. Therefore, orbit error is a critical Component in the error budget of altimeter satellites. With the launch of the Jason-1 radar altimeter (Dec. 2001) and the ICESat laser altimeter (Jan. 2003) a new era of satellite altimetry has begun. Both missions pose several challenges for precision orbit determination (POD). The Jason-1 radial orbit accuracy goal is 1 cm, while ICESat (600 km) at a much lower altitude than Jason-1 (1300 km), has a radial orbit accuracy requirement of less than 5 cm. Fortunately, Jason-1 and ICESat POD can rely on near continuous tracking data from the dual frequency codeless BlackJack GPS receiver and Satellite Laser Ranging. Analysis of current GPS-based solution performance indicates the l-cm radial orbit accuracy goal is being met for Jason-1, while radial orbit accuracy for ICESat is well below the 54x1 mission requirement. A brief overview of the GPS precision orbit determination methodology and results for both Jason-1 and ICESat are presented.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Scott B Luthcke
(Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, Maryland, United States)
David D Rowlands
(Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, Maryland, United States)
Frank G Lemoine
(Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, Maryland, United States)
Nikita P Zelensky
(Raytheon (United States) Waltham, Massachusetts, United States)
Teresa A Williams
(Raytheon (United States) Waltham, Massachusetts, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
October 28, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Flight Mechanics Symposium 2003
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command And Tracking
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Flight Mechanics Symposium(Greenbelt, MD)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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