Comparison of Orbit Propagators in the Research and Development Goddard Trajectory Determination System (R & D GTDS). Part I: Simulated Data
Fonte, Daniel J., Jr.
Danielson, D. A.
Dyar, W. R.
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This paper evaluates the performance of various orbit propagation theories for arti cial earth satellites in di erent orbital regimes Speci cally R& D GTDS s Cowell numerical technique DSST semianalytical technique SGP , SGP4, and Brouwer-Lyddane (analytic techniques) orbit propagators are compared for decaying circular (~200 km perigee height ), low altitude circular (590 km perigee height ), high altitude circular (1340 km perigee height), Molniya and geosynchronous orbits. All test cases implement a one orbital period differential correction fit to simulated data derived from a Cowell truth trajectory. These fits are followed by a one orbital period predict with the DC solve-for vector. Trajectory comparisons are made with the Cowell "truth " trajectory over both the fit and predict spans . Computation time and RMS errors are used as comparison metrics. The Unix-based version of R& D GTDS ( NPS SUN Sparc 10) is the test platform used in this analysis .