Accession Number:

AD0705268

Title:

ORBIT UNCERTAINTY AND SEA-SURFACE ALTIMETRY,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

NEW YORK UNIV BRONX GEOPHYSICAL SCIENCES LAB

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1970-03-01

Pagination or Media Count:

35.0

Abstract:

The extent to which unknown disturbances in orbit will affect the accuracy of an altimeter-derived geoid is investigated. A simple perturbation scheme is developed to examine the effects of isolated geopotential anomalies on a 600 km satellite in circular polar orbit. Hypothetical geoid undulations representing two different scales of anomalous geopotential are expanded in zonal harmonics. The resulting perturbations are analyzed and contrasted to the sea-surface geoid profiles. It is found that short-period fluctuations caused by mesoscale anomalies will amount to a few percent of the undulation amplitude orbital-period fluctuations are likely to be ten times as large. Strong microscale anomalies such as those correlative to deep ocean trenches will cause disturbances on the order of 1 to 2 cm. It is concluded that with dense tracking several fixes per revolution overall errors in geocentric radius can be kept below 1 m errors in computed orbit will not prevent the detection of sea-surface features of decimeter height, provided their scales are sufficiently small. Author

Subject Categories:

  • Geodesy
  • Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE