Orbit determination of a tethered satellite system using laser and radar tracking Academic Article uri icon


  • The Tether Physics and Survivability satellite (TiPS) is comprised of two small subsatellites connected by a 4 km tether. Orbit and attitude estimation of TiPS was initially based on Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR). However none of the SLR sites could provide azimuth and elevation information due to a technicality. Unfortunately, reliable acquisition of TiPS could not be achieved with range data only. Azimuth and elevation data could be obtained from radar sites albeit with lower accuracy. This paper investigates the advantages of radar tracking over SLR for acquiring TiPS on a more reliable basis using both simulated data as well as actual measurements.

author list (cited authors)

  • Vadali, S. R., Jung, H., & Alfriend, K. T.

publication date

  • December 1998