Autonomous Orbit Determination Using Epoch-Differenced Gravity Gradients and Starlight Refraction [article]

Pei Chen, Tengda Sun, Xiucong Sun
2017 arXiv   pre-print
Autonomous orbit determination via integration of epoch-differenced gravity gradients and starlight refraction is proposed in this paper for low-Earth-orbiting satellites operating in GPS-denied environments. The starlight refrac-tion can compensate for the significant along-track position error using solely gravity gradients and benefit from the integration in view of accuracy improvement in radial and cross-track position estimates. The between-epoch dif-ferencing of gravity gradients is
more » ... yed to eliminate slowly varying measurement biases and noises near the orbit revolution frequency. The refraction angle is directly used as measurement and its Jacobian matrix is derived from an implicit observation equation. An information fusion filter based on sequential extended Kalman filter is devel-oped for the orbit determination. Truth-model simulations are used to test the performance of the algorithm and the effects of differencing intervals and orbital heights are analyzed. A semi-simulation study using actual gravity gra-dient data from the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) combined with simulated starlight refraction measurements is further conducted and a three-dimensional position accuracy of better than 100 m is achieved.
arXiv:1702.01937v1 fatcat:tob4jchgnbasvl75zkgl3fgose