The Orbit of Ariel 4 (1971 - 109A).
ROYAL AIRCRAFT ESTABLISHMENT FARNBOROUGH (ENGLAND)
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The definitive orbit of Ariel 4 has been computed, from Minitrack observations, for the two periods during which orbital parameters were required for use in telemetry analysis - from December 1971 launch to May 1973, and from October 1973 to December 1973. The orbit was represented by a model with eight independent orbital parameters, and the values of these parameters were determined, and are listed in this Report, at three-day intervals. The accuracy was much the same for all the determinations, being about 4 x 10 to the -6 power in eccentricity and 2 inches for the angular parameters this would correspond to a nominal position accuracy of about 120 m in using the orbital parameters, though the actual errors may have approached 500 m at times, arising from perturbations due to unmodelled tesseral harmonics.
- Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry