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Ground-Support Algorithms for Simulation, Processing, and Calibration of Barnes Static Earth Sensor Measurements: Applications to Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission ObservatoryNew algorithms are described covering the simulation, processing, and calibration of penetration angles of the Barnes static Earth sensor assembly (SESA) as implemented in the Goddard Space Flight Center Flight Dynamics Division ground support system for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Observatory. The new treatment involves a detailed analysis of the measurements by individual quadrants. It is shown that, to a good approximation, individual quadrant misalignments can be treated simply as penetration angle biases. Simple formulas suitable for real-time applications are introduced for computing quadrant-dependent effects. The simulator generates penetration angles by solving a quadratic equation with coefficients uniquely determined by the spacecraft's position and the quadrant's orientation in GeoCentric Inertial (GCI) coordinates. Measurement processing for attitude determination is based on linearized equations obtained by expanding the coefficients of the aforementioned quadratic equation as a Taylor series in both the Earth oblateness coefficient (alpha approx. 1/150) and the angle between the pointing axis and the geodetic nadir vector. A simple formula relating a measured value of the penetration angle to the deviation of the Earth-pointed axis from the geodetic nadir vector is derived. It is shown that even near the very edge of the quadrant's Field Of View (FOV), attitude errors resulting from quadratic effects are a few hundredths of a degree, which is small compared to the attitude determination accuracy requirement (0.18 degree, 3 sigma) of TRMM. Calibration of SESA measurements is complicated by a first-order filtering used in the TRMM onboard algorithm to compute penetration angles from raw voltages. A simple calibration scheme is introduced where these complications are avoided by treating penetration angles as the primary raw measurements, which are adjusted using biases and scale factors. In addition to three misalignment parameters, the calibration state vector contains only two average penetration angle biases (one per each pair of opposite quadrants) since, because of the very narrow sensor FOV (+/- 2.6 degrees), differences between biases of the penetration angles measured by opposite quadrants cannot be distinguished from roll and pitch sensor misalignments. After calibration, the estimated misalignments and average penetration angle biases are converted to the four penetration angle biases and to the yaw misalignment angle. The resultant biases and the estimated scale factors are finally used to update the coefficients necessary for onboard computations of penetration angles from measured voltages.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Natanson, G. A.
(Computer Sciences Corp. Lanham, MD United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1997
Publication Information
Publication: Flight Mechanics Symposium 1997
Subject Category
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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