Accession Number : ADA288883

Title :   An Analysis Of Orbital Propagators for Low Earth Orbit Rendezvous.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA

Personal Author(s) : Pollock, Kenneth R.

PDF Url : ADA288883

Report Date : SEP 1994

Pagination or Media Count : 57

Abstract : This thesis examines the performance of three different orbital propagators to determine which provide the best performance for use in Low Earth Orbit Rendezvous. The performance evaluation is based upon the propagator's accuracy and the amount of time required to produce a solution. A Cowell high-fidelity propagator is used as a base line for comparison with an Encke and Clohessy-Wiltshire propagator. To further enhance the examination a Jacchia-70 atmospheric model and a GEM-9 Geopotential model are used to provide perturbing acceleration inputs to the propagators. All comparisons are performed in a Local Vertical, Local Horizontal Reference Frame with the target spacecraft at the coordinate center. Tainting of the input data set by a prior processor make the findings suspect. Findings support the prediction that while the Cowell propagator is the most accurate it also takes the most time to achieve results. Also, the Clohessy-Wiltshire, while taking the least time is the most inaccurate. The Encke propagator deliveries the most balanced result.

Descriptors :   *LOW ORBIT TRAJECTORIES, *RENDEZVOUS GUIDANCE, *RENDEZVOUS TRAJECTORIES, *SPACE NAVIGATION, VELOCITY, DATA PROCESSING, INPUT, POSITION(LOCATION), SPACECRAFT, EARTH ORBITS, PREDICTIONS, ACCELERATION, PERFORMANCE TESTS, ACCURACY, THESES, TARGETS, TIME, BASE LINES, COORDINATES, PERTURBATIONS, HORIZONTAL ORIENTATION.

Subject Categories : Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE