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Proceedings Paper

Statistical initial orbit determination
Author(s): Laurence G. Taff; Barry Belkin; G. A. Schweiter; K. Sommar
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Paper Abstract

We abandon, as a futile endeavor, the computation of a meaningful initial orbital element set based on anglesonly data. Rather, for the ballistic missile intitial orbit determination problem in particular, the concept of "launch folders" is extended. This allows one to decouple the observational data from the initial orbit determination problem per se. The observational data is only used to select among the possible orbital element sets in the group of folders. Monte Carlo simulations using up to 7200 orbital element sets are described herein. The results are compared to the true orbital element set and the one a good radar would have been able to produce if co—located with the optical sensor. The simplest version of the new method routinely outperforms the radar initial orbital element set by a factor of two in future miss distance. In addition, not only can one produce a differentially corrected orbital element set via this approach—after only two measurements of direction—one can also calculate an updated, meaningful, six-dimensional covariance array for it. This technique represents a significant advance in initial orbit determination for this problem and the concept can easily be extended to minor planets and artificial satellites.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 August 1991
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 1481, Signal and Data Processing of Small Targets 1991, (1 August 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.45674
Show Author Affiliations
Laurence G. Taff, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Barry Belkin, Daniel H. Wagner Associates Inc. (United States)
G. A. Schweiter, Daniel H. Wagner Associates Inc. (United States)
K. Sommar, Daniel H. Wagner Associates Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1481:
Signal and Data Processing of Small Targets 1991
Oliver E. Drummond, Editor(s)

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