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Precise Orbit Determination for Altimetric Missions: Past trends, Current Issues and IGGOS

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Philip Moore


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Satallite positioning, as computed within Precise Orbit Determination software, is a findamental component of Geophysical Data Records (GDR) for altermetric missions. In particular, orbital analysts compute the normal height above a reference ellipsoid providing the essential link between the height recorded by the altimeter and the Earth's surface. Orbital accuracies are sought at a level commensurate with that of the altimeter hardware with no perceptible geographical distribution in error. In this paper we review (i) the principles of orbit determination and its evolution over the past decade, (ii) the contribution in errors in the dynamic force model, (iii) the tracking data types used in orbital determination from GEOSAT through to the latest missions, ENVISAT and JASON 1 and (iv) the spatial and temporal orbital accuracies curretly achievable. Illistrations will utilise satellite laser ranging (SLR), microwave systems from TRANET through to PRARE and DORIS, and high-low satellite-to-satellite tracking provided by GPS. In addition, the role of altimetry in the form of a single or duel satellite crossovers will cover aspects such as its use as a tracking data type, as an independant measure of an orbital accuracy, for recovery of sea state and time-tag bias and as a source of gravity field signals. Future requirements of multiple tracking data types for altimetric satallites in the era of GPS positioning of LEO satellites and dedicated gravity field missions will be reviewed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Moore P

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: AGU: Fall Meeting

Year of Conference: 2002