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Short-arc orbit determination using coherent X-band ranging dataThe use of X-band frequencies in ground-spacecraft and spacecraft-ground telecommunication links for current and future robotic interplanetary missions makes it possible to perform ranging measurements of greater accuracy than previously obtained. It is shown that ranging data of sufficient accuracy, when acquired from multiple stations, can sense the geocentric angular position of a distant spacecraft. The application of high-accuracy S/X-band and X-band ranging to orbit determination with relatively short data arcs is investigated in planetary approach and encounter scenarios. Actual trajectory solutions for the Ulysses spacecraft constructed from S/X-band ranging and Doppler data are presented; error covariance calculations are used to predict the performance of X-band ranging and Doppler data. The Ulysses trajectory solutions indicate that the aim point for the spacecraft's February 1992 Jupiter encounter was predicted to a geocentric accuracy of 0.20 to 0.23/microrad. Explicit modeling of range bias parameters for each station pass is shown to largely remove systematic ground system calibration errors and transmission media effects from the Ulysses range measurements, which would otherwise corrupt the angle finding capabilities of the data. The Ulysses solutions were found to be reasonably consistent with the theoretical results, which suggest that angular accuracies of 0.08 to 0.1/microrad are achievable with X-band ranging.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Thurman, S. W. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Mcelrath, T. P. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Pollmeier, V. M. (JPL Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: In: Spaceflight mechanics 1992; Proceedings of the 2nd AAS(AIAA Meeting, Colorado Springs, CO, Feb. 24-26, 1992. Pt. 1 (A93-48426 20-12)
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
AAS PAPER 92-109
Distribution Limits

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IDRelationTitle19930064429Analytic PrimarySpaceflight mechanics 1992; Proceedings of the 2nd AAS/AIAA Meeting, Colorado Springs, CO, Feb. 24-26, 1992. Pts. 1 & 2