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Enhancement of an Orbit Determination Simulation Tool for Space Debris
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis approaches the enhancement of a simulation software tool which performs orbit determinations of simulated space objects. The underlying measurements needed for the orbit determination are simulated based on both ground- and space-based observers. Beside optical observations carried out by telescopes, radar-based observations are implemented to extend the measurement generation. Measurements are generated regarding several physical, geometrical and sensor specific constraints such as that a line of sight from the observer to the observed object is required, that for optical observations the target object needs to be illuminated or that the distance between the object and the observer is below a certain threshold. Additionally, measurements can be performed by an arbitrary number of observers independent on whether they are ground-based or space-based or whether they obtain optical or radar based measurements.Based on the earliest simulated measurements a first guess of the space object's orbit is performed with the aid of an initial orbit determination. This guess is - based on further simulated measurements - refined by running the actual orbit determination process by means of a weighted least squares algorithm or an extended Kalman Filter. The object together with its covariance is propagated throughout the determination process to provide a predicted state with the corresponding uncertainty. Within the orbit determination process a range of perturbational forces which act on space objects is taken into account: Earth's non-spherical gravity field, solar and lunar gravity, atmospheric drag with thermospheric winds and solar radiation pressure. Within the coordinate transformation between ground-based observers and the Earth centered inertial reference frame the motion characteristics of the Earth itself in terms of the so-called Earth orientation parameters is considered. This allows for a highly precise conversion between several coordinate systems and therefore extremely realistic measurement simulations. Moreover, various space debris surveillance scenarios are implemented simulating real observation strategies.What this all amounts to is that the pre-existing software tool is improved to be more flexible in relation to different observation types and to be closer to reality in terms of perturbation techniques, coordinate transformations and measurement simulations.

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Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-42833Local ID: 0cc48573-6ad2-4664-9220-faa3d2b35a95OAI: diva2:1016059
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Space Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20151111 (global_studentproject_submitter)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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