Navigating highly elliptical earth orbiters with simultaneous VLBI from orthogonal baseline pairsNavigation strategies for determining highly elliptical orbits with VLBI are described. The predicted performance of wideband VLBI and Delta VLBI measurements obtained by orthogonal baseline pairs are compared for a 16-hr equatorial orbit. It is observed that the one-sigma apogee position accuracy improves two orders of magnitude to the meter level when Delta VLBI measurements are added to coherent Doppler and range, and the simpler VLBI strategy provides nearly the same orbit accuracy. The effects of differential measurement noise and acquisition geometry on orbit accuracy are investigated. The data reveal that quasar position uncertainty limits the accuracy of wideband Delta VLBI measurements, and that polar motion and baseline uncertainties and offsets between station clocks affect the wideband VLBI data. It is noted that differential one-way range (DOR) has performance nearly equal to that of the more complex Delta DOR and is recommended for use on spacecraft in high elliptical orbits.
Frauenholz, Raymond B. (California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, United States)
August 13, 2013
January 1, 1986
SPACE COMMUNICATIONS, SPACECRAFT COMMUNICATIONS, COMMAND AND TRACKING