A Computer Program for Orbit Determination Using the Kalman Filter Approach

  • Leelamma Mani
  • V. Swaminathan
Conference paper
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 127)


In the present paper, we are concerned with the features of a computer program ‘TRACK’, developed for the orbit determination of a near-earth satellite using range, range-rate, elevation and azimuth measurements at a known ground station. The program makes use of the Kalman filter approach for carrying out the orbit estimation. Given the predicted orbital parameters of the satellite at the beginning of the visibility section of an orbit, the program estimates, whenever there is measurement, the state (position and velocity components) and the associated error matrices and predicts during the interval between two successive measurements. The results obtained through the program for a typical set of input data are included. Plots, showing the covariance norms of both position and velocity, were drawn with a view to study the filter performance and they were found to conform to the expected pattern.


Orbit Determination Covariance Norm Visibility Section Slant Range Geodetic Latitude 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alan,M.K.: 1974, ‘Filtering theory methods and application to the orbit determination problem for near-earth satellites’, Ph.D. Thesis, Aerospace Studies, The University of Texas at Austin.Google Scholar
  2. Escobal,P.R.: 1965, Methods of Orbit Determination,Wiley, N.Y.Google Scholar
  3. Gunckel II,T.L.: 1966, ‘Guidance and Control of re-entry and aerospace vehicles’, Advances in Control Systems, 3, Acad. Press,N.Y.,pp.1–68.Google Scholar
  4. Kalman,R.E.: 1961, ‘A new approach to linear filtering and prediction problems’, Trans.ASME J.Basic Engg. ,83, pp.95–107.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Leelamma Mani, P.V. Subba Rao,and V.Swaminathan: 1985, ‘KALIST — A Software for orbit determination’, Proceedings of the Workshop C4,- Seminar on Preliminary Orbit Determination, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.Google Scholar
  6. Schmidt, S.F. : 1966, ‘Application of state space methods to navigation problems’, Advances in Control Systems, 3, Acad.Press, N.Y.pp.293–340.Google Scholar
  7. Sorenson, H.W.: 1966, ‘Kalman filtering techniques’, Advances in Control Systems, 3, Acad. Press, N.Y.,pp.219–292.Google Scholar
  8. Sorenson, H.W., and A.R.Stubberend: 1970, ‘Linear Estimation theory’, AGARDOgraph, 139, pp.1–42.Google Scholar
  9. Surendran, K.: 1973, ‘Satellite Tracking’, VSSC:AMD:TR:3:73, Technical ReportGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leelamma Mani
    • 1
  • V. Swaminathan
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Mathematics DivisionVikram Sarabhai Space CentreTrivandrumIndia

Personalised recommendations