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The METOP-A Orbit Acquisition Strategy and its LEOP Operational ExperienceEurope's first polar-orbiting weather satellite, METOPA, was launched by a Soyuz launcher from Baikonur Cosmodrome on the 19th of October of 2006. The routine operations of METOP-A are conducted by EUMETSAT (European Organization for Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) in the frame of the European Polar System mission (EPS). The METOP-A Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) operations have been performed by ESA/ESOC. The Flight Dynamics Orbit Determination and Control team (OD&C) at ESOC was in charge of correcting the S/C orbit as delivered by the launcher in such a way that EUMETSAT would be able to acquire the reference orbit with a drift-stop manoeuvre approximately two weeks after a LEOP of 3 days and Hand-Over to the EUMETSAT Control Centre (EUMETSAT-CC) in Darmstadt, Germany. The various strict constraints and the short amount of time available for ESOC operations made this task challenging. Several strategies were prepared before launch and analysed during LEOP based on the achieved injection orbit. This paper presents the different manoeuvre strategies investigated and finally applied to acquire the operational orbit, reporting as well the details of its execution and final achieved state.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Merz, K.
(EDS Operations Services G.m.b.H. Darmstadt, Germany)
Serrano, M. A. Martin
(SciSys Ltd. Darmstadt, Germany)
Kuijper, D.
(LogicaCMG Darmstadt, Germany)
Matatoros, M. A. Garcia
(European Space Agency. European Space Operations Center Darmstadt, Germany)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
September 24, 2007
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the 20th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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