High Accuracy Aircraft to Satellite Tracking: An Evaluation of Two Proposed Filter Models
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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This study treats the high accuracy tracking of a satellite from an aircraft. The purpose is to evaluate the feasibility of several reduced order system models for implementation in an extended Kalman filter formulation whose estimates would be used to aid the tracker. The first filter model is a twelve state model in which filter estimates of the satellite inertial position and velocity are obtained and used in the estimation of the tracker states. A second, six state-model deletes these six satellite states, and tracker state estimation is accomplished by exploiting the information already available in the tracking geometry, dominant modes of satellite dynamics, and the range measurement. Tracker state estimation is accomplished in the line of sight coordinate frame for both filter formulations. A covariance analysis was performed, evaluating each filter against a 42 state truth model. The tracking profile used in the study was specifically designed to evaluate each filters state estimation capability when faced with a highly nonlinear tracker angular rate history. It was concluded that the six state filter is a viable alternative, and, with some proposed modifications, is preferable because of its simplicity and lower computational burden and warrants further study.
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