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A demonstration of dual spacecraft tracking conducted with the Viking spacecraft during the approach phaseThe potential improvements in navigation capability of dual spacecraft tracking were demonstrated using Viking approach data. Under unfavorable conditions of large plasma noise, low spacecraft declination and large earth-spacecraft distance, the dual spacecraft tracking technique improved the Viking B approach accuracy based on short-arc radio metric data, by a factor of 7, to less than 200 km at Mars orbit insertion minus 3 days. From the results of an analytical expansion and the Viking demonstration with a large intentional error in Mars ephemeris, that dual spacecraft data types are shown to be insensitive to ephemeris error. Results also reveal the potential reduction of tracking time requirements during planet approach.
Document ID
Document Type
Chao, C. C.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 9, 2013
Publication Date
February 15, 1978
Publication Information
Publication: The Deep Space Network
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command And Tracking
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19780016244Analytic PrimaryThe deep space network
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