Improving the accuracy of orbit lifetime analysis using enhanced general perturbations methods

Kerr, Emma and Macdonald, Malcolm; Ozimek, Martin T. and Zanetti, Renato and Bowes, Angela L. and Russell, Ryan P. and Ozimek, Martin T., eds. (2016) Improving the accuracy of orbit lifetime analysis using enhanced general perturbations methods. In: AAS/AIAA Spaceflight Mechanics Meeting 2016. Univelt Inc, USA, pp. 2529-2542. ISBN 9780877036333

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    Abstract

    The general perturbations method for orbit lifetime analysis developed by the authors is improved by using spacecraft orbit decay tracking data to inform orbit lifetime predictions. This data is used to derive input parameters such as mass, and drag coefficient in order to make the method independent from error in these inputs, which can be a major source of error in orbit lifetime predictions. These derived inputs are then used to generate more accurate predictions while still maintaining the speed of the original method. The accuracy of the new method is validated against the authors' original method and historical data.