Time series prediction for satellite ballistic coefficients

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-11-C-0096
Agency Tracking Number: F10B-T36-0047
Amount: $98,844.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF10-BT36
Solicitation Number: 2010.B
Small Business Information
7051 Muirkirk Meadows Dv.; Suite A, Greenbelt, MD, 20705-
DUNS: 108990649
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 William Barker
 Chief Scientist
 (719) 226-1511
Business Contact
 Mark LeBlanc
Title: Vice President, Western Region
Phone: (719) 226-1511
Email: mark.leblanc@omitron-cos.com
Research Institution
 The University of Texas at Austin
 Jim Casey
 3925 W. Braker Ln., Ste 200
Austin, TX, 78759-5316
 (512) 471-7370
 Nonprofit college or university
ABSTRACT: The leading errors in computing future positions of satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) are generally due to inaccuracies in the thermospheric density and the prediction thereof. The use of Dynamic Calibration Atmosphere (DCA) has significantly reduced these traditional sources of error and variations seen in ballistic coefficients can now be attributed to unmodeled satellite frontal area changes. When the orbit of a satellite needs to be predicted, there is no way of knowing the correct value of the ballistic coefficient for the orbit prediction interval thus a value is assumed. The assumed value of the ballistic coefficient will cause the predicted orbit to be in error. Hence, considerable improvement in the quality of orbit prediction can be achieved by reducing the error in the assumed value of the ballistic coefficient. The ballistic coefficient for prediction is usually obtained from the estimated value prior to the prediction. Instead of assuming the previous estimated value, an analysis of the time series of a history of the estimated values may reveal some characteristics which then can be used to minimize prediction error. BENEFIT: Many Air Force and other agencies use satellite prediction products produced in the JSpOC. Therefore, the potential for greatly improved accuracy of the space catalog has far reaching applicability to a wide range of DoD and commercial users.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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