Single track covariance for Space Surveillance Network sensors Conference Paper uri icon


  • When US Space Command updates the orbital elements of objects in the space catalog, a covariance at epoch is also obtained. This covariance generally does not provide an accurate estimate of the position error at times beyond epoch. In this paper a study is made of the accuracy and distribution of the covariance resulting from single tracks of Space Surveillance Network radars. Over 31,000 single track comparisons of 31 satellites in near Earth orbits were used in the analysis. The prediction intervals ranged from one quarter revolution to two revolutions. The results show that the predicted position errors are approximately Gaussian and the covariance for single tracks is a good estimator of prediction error.

author list (cited authors)

  • Alfriend, K. T., Hoots, F. R., Glover, R. A., & France, R. G.

publication date

  • December 1998