Satellite Orbit Determination using Ground-based Navigation Data

TitleSatellite Orbit Determination using Ground-based Navigation Data
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsYousuf, R., F. Newland, and T. Kirubarajan
Conference NameEuropean Navigation Conference
PublisherENC 2011
Conference LocationLondon, UK
KeywordsMachine vision, Orbit, Satellite, ship navigation

There exist various methods of using ground signals collected by a satellite to determine the orbit of the satellite. These signals can be used independently as a single source, or multi-source data can be fused together to increase redundancy and reliability of the orbit solution. A new measurement technique is proposed in this study, in which the location of a satellite could be computed from the knowledge of navigation data points within the satellite’s field of view (FoV). There are a growing number of ground-based sensors which broadcast their position, and which can be detected from space, providing a dense dataset for determining the position of the detecting satellite. Knowing the positions of such points, the time that they appear and remain in the FoV, it is possible to determine the satellite’s orbit.

In the context of this problem, it is proposed to use ship-based Automatic Identification System (AIS) data as the ground points whose positions are known (with some uncertainty) through the AIS reports from the ships. This AIS navigation data, which are broadcast by the ships and can be acquired by the satellite, can be fed into an orbit determination tool to fit a trajectory for the satellite. A number of simplifying assumptions will be made initially to formulate the approach for deriving the algorithms required to use such measurements. Thereafter, the assumptions will be able to be relaxed successively to provide an analysis technique robust enough to handle real-world data.