Orbit Determination of Sunlight Illuminated Objects Detected by Overhead Platforms
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSONAFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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A technique for determining the orbital element set of a sunlight- illuminated object detected by an overhead platform when passing through the sensors field of view is developed. The technique uses a Gauss orbit determination technique to find an initial target state estimate and then the estimate is refined via a batch weighted least squares estimation routine. A six element state vector consisting of three position and three velocity components describe the state at epoch. It was found that the Gaussian method produced reasonable initial orbits when the data bias was sufficiently zero. Each analyst-supplied slant range fit the data equally well, indicating that orbit determination is impossible with a single set of data. A unique series of events where the same object was tracked four consecutive days was fit using the developed algorithm, producing favorable results. The results of two single data set events and one multiple collection events are presented. Keywords Flight paths, Orbits Trajectories Orbit determination Military theses.
- Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry