Advanced Filtering Techniques Applied to Spaceflight
IST-Rolla developed two nonlinear filters for spacecraft orbit determination during the Phase I contract. The theta-D filter and the cost based filter, CBF, were developed and used in various orbit determination scenarios. The scenarios were application to low Earth orbit, range only, and range and range rate estimation. The modified state observer was also developed to estimate uncertainty in the dynamic model besides estimation of orbital states.Phase I research showed that there is a problem with the linear-like form that is used by many nonlinear filters such as the State Dependant Riccati Equation filter (SDRE filter), and the theta-D and CBF. A study of the observability led to important discoveries about the lack of observabilty in some formulations. Detailed study of the working of the proposed nonlinear filters in terms of observability and their application to more precise orbit determination and model uncertainty estimation will be undertaken in Phase II.Also learned from Phase I, IST-Rolla will focus more on how and where these nonlinear filters can help NASA. There will be three main applications studied during Phase II: interplanetary orbit determination, space debris tracking, and interplanetary landing spacecraft tracking. These applications were chosen because of their relevance to current NASA missions and the nonlinearity of the measurements involved should show the need for the nonlinear filters. Furthermore, working algorithms and software will be given to NASA to test on ongoing applications.
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