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Title: Short Arc Orbit Determination for Altimeter Calibration and Validation on TOPEX/Poseidon
Authors: Williams, B.G.
Christensen, E.J.
Yuan, D.N.
McColl, K.C.
Sunseri, R.F.
Issue Date: 22-Feb-1993
Citation: Pasadena, CA
Abstract: TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) is a joint mission of US NASA and French CNES design launched August 10, 1992. It carries two radar altimeters which alternately share a common antenna. There are two project designated verification sites, a NASA site off the coast at Pt. Conception, CA, and a CNES site near Lampedusa Island in the Mediterranean Sea. Altimeter calibration and validation for T/P is performed over these highly instrumented sites by comparing the spacecraft's altimeter radar range to computed range based on in situ measurements which include the estimated orbit position. This paper presents selected results of orbit determination over each of these sites to support altimeter verification. A short arc orbit determination technique is used to estimate a locally accurate position determination of T/P from less than one revolution of satellite laser ranging (SLR) data. This technique is relatively insensitive to gravitational and nongravitational force modeling errors and is therefore essentially geometrical. The quality of these short arc orbits is demonstrated by covariance analysis and by comparison to orbits determined from longer arcs of data and other tracking data types, such as DORIS and Global Positioning System Demonstration Receiver (GPSDR) data.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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