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Jason-1 Precision Orbit Determination by Combining SLR and DORIS with GPS Tracking Data

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With the implementation of the Jason-1 satellite altimeter mission, the goal of reaching the 1-cm level in orbit accuracy was set. To support the Precision Orbit Determination (POD) requirements, the Jason-1 spacecraft carries receivers for DORIS (Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite) and GPS (Global Positioning System), as well as a retroreflector for SLR (Satellite Laser Ranging). The overall orbit accuracy for Jason will depend on the quality and the relative weighting of the available tracking data. In this study, the relative importance of the SLR, DORIS, and GPS tracking data is assessed along with the most effective parameterization for accounting for the unmodeled accelerations through the application of empirical accelerations. The optimal relative weighting for each type of tracking data was examined. It is demonstrated that GPS tracking alone is capable of supporting a radial orbit accuracy for Jason-1 at the 1-cm level, and that including SLR tracking provides additional benefits. It is also shown that the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) gravity model GGM01S provides a significant improvement in the orbit accuracy and reduction in the level of geographically correlated orbit errors.

Keywords: DORIS; GPS; Jason-1; SLR; precision orbit determination; satellite altimetry

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Center for Space Research The University of Texas at Austin Austin Texas USA

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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