Calculation of precision satellite orbits with nonsingular elements /VOP formulation/Review of some results obtained in an effort to develop efficient, high-precision trajectory computation processes for artificial satellites by optimum selection of the form of the equations of motion of the satellite and the numerical integration method. In particular, the matching of a Gaussian variation-of-parameter (VOP) formulation is considered which is expressed in terms of equinoctial orbital elements and partially decouples the motion of the orbital frame from motion within the orbital frame. The performance of the resulting orbit generators is then compared with the popular classical Cowell/Gauss-Jackson formulation/integrator pair for two distinctly different orbit types - namely, the orbit of the ATS satellite at near-geosynchronous conditions and the near-circular orbit of the GEOS-C satellite at 1000 km.
Velez, C. E. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, Md., United States)
Cefola, P. J.
Long, A. C.
Nimitz, K. S. (Computer Sciences Corp. Silver Spring, Md., United States)