FIRST ORDER OBLATENESS PERTURBATIONS AND THE U. S. NAVAL SPACE SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM.
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON D C
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An error analysis is presented involving a comparison of position errors in the orbital path of an artificial earth satellite produced either by the inclusion or omission of first order oblateness effects on all of the orbital elements or by the introduction of theoretical errors into the system with which the measurements are made. The reasons for making the above comparison are twofold. First, if the improved model of the earths gravitational field produces an increased accuracy in the orbital elements commensurate with the accuracy of the measuring system, then this more accurate model should be used in the derivation of any epoch set of orbital elements from raw data as well as in any scheme for predicting satellite position as a function of time from epoch. Secondly, if the improved model accuracy is indeed not comparable to the measuring system accuracy, then the inclusion of these first order effects is not necessary and their omission will reduce expenditures for the use of the high speed digital computer necessary for orbital element computation and updating.