J. Russell Carpenter and Emil R. Schiesser

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: The Space Shuttle has flown a number of different GPS receivers that have produced a mix of unfiltered and filtered solution data using Standard and Precise Positioning Service modes. Many of these results indicate that semimajor axis is often not determined very accurately because of a poor velocity solution and a lack of proper filtering to provide good radial and speed error correlation. In analyzing these results, this paper presents simple formulas, charts, and rules of thumb relating position, velocity, and semimajor axis that have been well known and widely used in certain segments of the space navigation community since the early 1960s, but appear not to have been widely disseminated. These techniques have been found useful in the analysis of GPS receivers for near-circular orbit operations, including rendezvous and formation-flying missions.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 48, Number 1
Pages: 57 - 68
Cite this article: Carpenter, J. Russell, Schiesser, Emil R., "SEMIMAJOR AXIS KNOWLEDGE AND GPS ORBIT DETERMINATION", NAVIGATION: Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 48, No. 1, Spring 2001, pp. 57-68.
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