Developments in high fidelity surface force models and their relative effects on orbit prediction

Stuart Grey, Marek Ziebart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

Abstract

Introduction

This paper presents developments to a set of high fidelity spacecraft surface force models. These models address the problem of errors in orbital prediction and orbital determination due to un-modeled and under-modeled surface forces on spacecraft. These models have been validated individually but in this paper the most recently developed models are applied together to give an insight into how they effect a spacecraft in orbit. A significant reduction in error between the predicted orbit and tracking data is shown when all the models are added to the orbital propagator.

Surface Forces

Spacecraft surface forces, while orders of magnitude smaller than gravitational forces are extremely important for accurate determination and propagation of spacecraft orbits.  This paper will outline an improved approach to modelling four of these surface forces and their effects.

Solar Radiation Pressure (SRP)

SRP is the force exerted on a spacecraft's surface due to collision with photons originating from the sun. It is typically modelled using a a cannonball or box and wing spacecraft model. The acceleration due to incident flux on these primitives can be computed quickly but does not take into account all of the spacecraft geometry and material properties. In our approach a ray tracing technique is used on a complete model of the spacecraft . This involves calculating how incident light intersects the spacecraft geometry and the resultant force when it does. The model also allows for secondary intersection due to reflection and fully models spacecraft self-shadowing. For this study the resolution of the model has been significantly increased with a 1mm ray grid size and the spacecraft response to 10,000 different incident flux vectors calculated.

Thermal Re-Radiation (TRR)

TRR modelling utilises the same spacecraft model and material properties and calculates the thermal response of the material and the resultant emission of thermal photons. This is then used to calculate the resultant force on the spacecraft . A novel element of the approach lies in detailed modelling of the space vehicle multi-layered insulation (MLI).

Earth Radiation Pressure (ERP)

The ERP model again uses the photon-spacecraft interaction model used by the SRP model. The difference is the that instead of a solar flux, a flux is computed that incorporates the fluxes both emitted from and reflected by the Earth. These fluxes are based on the CERES mission earth radiation fluxes.

Antenna Thrust (AT) 

Antenna thrust is the recoil of the emitted photons from communications antennae and while small has a constant direction which makes its effect consistent in direction with respect to the spacecraft geometry.

Validation

As validation of these methods a 12 hour orbit of a GPS IIR satellite was propagated. A full orbit and its initial conditions were taken from the JPL precise ephemeris. An orbit is then propagated from those initial conditions and compared to the precise orbit to ascertain how the error between the orbit propagation and the true orbit changed over time.

The spacecraft dynamic model was numerically integrated using an 8th order embedded Runge-Kutta integrator with adaptive step-size control, a high order (15x15) GRACE gravity field, periodic variations to the gravity field coefficients incorporating polar motion and solid Earth tides, third body accelerations for the Sun, Venus, the Moon, Mars and Jupiter and general relativistic forces.

The results show a consistent and significant reduction in orbit error with the introduction of each surface force model. This leads to a total error after 12 hours of less then 10cm along track when all of the surface models are applied.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference
Place of PublicationReston, VA
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781624103087
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2014
EventAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014 - California, San Diego, United States
Duration: 4 Aug 20147 Aug 2014

Publication series

NameAIAA SPACE Forum
PublisherAIAA

Conference

ConferenceAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period4/08/147/08/14

Fingerprint

Spacecraft
Orbits
Fluxes
Earth (planet)
Photons
Solar radiation
Radiation
Antennas
Sun
Geometry
Materials properties
Gravitation
Tides
Moon
Heat radiation
Ray tracing
Global positioning system
Insulation
Dynamic models
Satellites

Keywords

  • precise orbit determination
  • spacecraft
  • high fidelity surface force modelling
  • orbital prediction
  • solar radiation pressure
  • thermal re-radiation
  • Earth radiation pressure
  • antenna thrust

Cite this

Grey, S., & Ziebart, M. (2014). Developments in high fidelity surface force models and their relative effects on orbit prediction. In AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference [2014-4135A] (AIAA SPACE Forum). Reston, VA. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2014-4135
Grey, Stuart ; Ziebart, Marek. / Developments in high fidelity surface force models and their relative effects on orbit prediction. AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference. Reston, VA, 2014. (AIAA SPACE Forum).
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abstract = "IntroductionThis paper presents developments to a set of high fidelity spacecraft surface force models. These models address the problem of errors in orbital prediction and orbital determination due to un-modeled and under-modeled surface forces on spacecraft. These models have been validated individually but in this paper the most recently developed models are applied together to give an insight into how they effect a spacecraft in orbit. A significant reduction in error between the predicted orbit and tracking data is shown when all the models are added to the orbital propagator.Surface ForcesSpacecraft surface forces, while orders of magnitude smaller than gravitational forces are extremely important for accurate determination and propagation of spacecraft orbits.  This paper will outline an improved approach to modelling four of these surface forces and their effects.Solar Radiation Pressure (SRP)SRP is the force exerted on a spacecraft's surface due to collision with photons originating from the sun. It is typically modelled using a a cannonball or box and wing spacecraft model. The acceleration due to incident flux on these primitives can be computed quickly but does not take into account all of the spacecraft geometry and material properties. In our approach a ray tracing technique is used on a complete model of the spacecraft . This involves calculating how incident light intersects the spacecraft geometry and the resultant force when it does. The model also allows for secondary intersection due to reflection and fully models spacecraft self-shadowing. For this study the resolution of the model has been significantly increased with a 1mm ray grid size and the spacecraft response to 10,000 different incident flux vectors calculated.Thermal Re-Radiation (TRR)TRR modelling utilises the same spacecraft model and material properties and calculates the thermal response of the material and the resultant emission of thermal photons. This is then used to calculate the resultant force on the spacecraft . A novel element of the approach lies in detailed modelling of the space vehicle multi-layered insulation (MLI).Earth Radiation Pressure (ERP)The ERP model again uses the photon-spacecraft interaction model used by the SRP model. The difference is the that instead of a solar flux, a flux is computed that incorporates the fluxes both emitted from and reflected by the Earth. These fluxes are based on the CERES mission earth radiation fluxes.Antenna Thrust (AT) Antenna thrust is the recoil of the emitted photons from communications antennae and while small has a constant direction which makes its effect consistent in direction with respect to the spacecraft geometry.ValidationAs validation of these methods a 12 hour orbit of a GPS IIR satellite was propagated. A full orbit and its initial conditions were taken from the JPL precise ephemeris. An orbit is then propagated from those initial conditions and compared to the precise orbit to ascertain how the error between the orbit propagation and the true orbit changed over time. The spacecraft dynamic model was numerically integrated using an 8th order embedded Runge-Kutta integrator with adaptive step-size control, a high order (15x15) GRACE gravity field, periodic variations to the gravity field coefficients incorporating polar motion and solid Earth tides, third body accelerations for the Sun, Venus, the Moon, Mars and Jupiter and general relativistic forces.The results show a consistent and significant reduction in orbit error with the introduction of each surface force model. This leads to a total error after 12 hours of less then 10cm along track when all of the surface models are applied.",
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Grey, S & Ziebart, M 2014, Developments in high fidelity surface force models and their relative effects on orbit prediction. in AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference., 2014-4135A, AIAA SPACE Forum, Reston, VA, AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014, San Diego, United States, 4/08/14. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2014-4135

Developments in high fidelity surface force models and their relative effects on orbit prediction. / Grey, Stuart; Ziebart, Marek.

AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference. Reston, VA, 2014. 2014-4135A (AIAA SPACE Forum).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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N2 - IntroductionThis paper presents developments to a set of high fidelity spacecraft surface force models. These models address the problem of errors in orbital prediction and orbital determination due to un-modeled and under-modeled surface forces on spacecraft. These models have been validated individually but in this paper the most recently developed models are applied together to give an insight into how they effect a spacecraft in orbit. A significant reduction in error between the predicted orbit and tracking data is shown when all the models are added to the orbital propagator.Surface ForcesSpacecraft surface forces, while orders of magnitude smaller than gravitational forces are extremely important for accurate determination and propagation of spacecraft orbits.  This paper will outline an improved approach to modelling four of these surface forces and their effects.Solar Radiation Pressure (SRP)SRP is the force exerted on a spacecraft's surface due to collision with photons originating from the sun. It is typically modelled using a a cannonball or box and wing spacecraft model. The acceleration due to incident flux on these primitives can be computed quickly but does not take into account all of the spacecraft geometry and material properties. In our approach a ray tracing technique is used on a complete model of the spacecraft . This involves calculating how incident light intersects the spacecraft geometry and the resultant force when it does. The model also allows for secondary intersection due to reflection and fully models spacecraft self-shadowing. For this study the resolution of the model has been significantly increased with a 1mm ray grid size and the spacecraft response to 10,000 different incident flux vectors calculated.Thermal Re-Radiation (TRR)TRR modelling utilises the same spacecraft model and material properties and calculates the thermal response of the material and the resultant emission of thermal photons. This is then used to calculate the resultant force on the spacecraft . A novel element of the approach lies in detailed modelling of the space vehicle multi-layered insulation (MLI).Earth Radiation Pressure (ERP)The ERP model again uses the photon-spacecraft interaction model used by the SRP model. The difference is the that instead of a solar flux, a flux is computed that incorporates the fluxes both emitted from and reflected by the Earth. These fluxes are based on the CERES mission earth radiation fluxes.Antenna Thrust (AT) Antenna thrust is the recoil of the emitted photons from communications antennae and while small has a constant direction which makes its effect consistent in direction with respect to the spacecraft geometry.ValidationAs validation of these methods a 12 hour orbit of a GPS IIR satellite was propagated. A full orbit and its initial conditions were taken from the JPL precise ephemeris. An orbit is then propagated from those initial conditions and compared to the precise orbit to ascertain how the error between the orbit propagation and the true orbit changed over time. The spacecraft dynamic model was numerically integrated using an 8th order embedded Runge-Kutta integrator with adaptive step-size control, a high order (15x15) GRACE gravity field, periodic variations to the gravity field coefficients incorporating polar motion and solid Earth tides, third body accelerations for the Sun, Venus, the Moon, Mars and Jupiter and general relativistic forces.The results show a consistent and significant reduction in orbit error with the introduction of each surface force model. This leads to a total error after 12 hours of less then 10cm along track when all of the surface models are applied.

AB - IntroductionThis paper presents developments to a set of high fidelity spacecraft surface force models. These models address the problem of errors in orbital prediction and orbital determination due to un-modeled and under-modeled surface forces on spacecraft. These models have been validated individually but in this paper the most recently developed models are applied together to give an insight into how they effect a spacecraft in orbit. A significant reduction in error between the predicted orbit and tracking data is shown when all the models are added to the orbital propagator.Surface ForcesSpacecraft surface forces, while orders of magnitude smaller than gravitational forces are extremely important for accurate determination and propagation of spacecraft orbits.  This paper will outline an improved approach to modelling four of these surface forces and their effects.Solar Radiation Pressure (SRP)SRP is the force exerted on a spacecraft's surface due to collision with photons originating from the sun. It is typically modelled using a a cannonball or box and wing spacecraft model. The acceleration due to incident flux on these primitives can be computed quickly but does not take into account all of the spacecraft geometry and material properties. In our approach a ray tracing technique is used on a complete model of the spacecraft . This involves calculating how incident light intersects the spacecraft geometry and the resultant force when it does. The model also allows for secondary intersection due to reflection and fully models spacecraft self-shadowing. For this study the resolution of the model has been significantly increased with a 1mm ray grid size and the spacecraft response to 10,000 different incident flux vectors calculated.Thermal Re-Radiation (TRR)TRR modelling utilises the same spacecraft model and material properties and calculates the thermal response of the material and the resultant emission of thermal photons. This is then used to calculate the resultant force on the spacecraft . A novel element of the approach lies in detailed modelling of the space vehicle multi-layered insulation (MLI).Earth Radiation Pressure (ERP)The ERP model again uses the photon-spacecraft interaction model used by the SRP model. The difference is the that instead of a solar flux, a flux is computed that incorporates the fluxes both emitted from and reflected by the Earth. These fluxes are based on the CERES mission earth radiation fluxes.Antenna Thrust (AT) Antenna thrust is the recoil of the emitted photons from communications antennae and while small has a constant direction which makes its effect consistent in direction with respect to the spacecraft geometry.ValidationAs validation of these methods a 12 hour orbit of a GPS IIR satellite was propagated. A full orbit and its initial conditions were taken from the JPL precise ephemeris. An orbit is then propagated from those initial conditions and compared to the precise orbit to ascertain how the error between the orbit propagation and the true orbit changed over time. The spacecraft dynamic model was numerically integrated using an 8th order embedded Runge-Kutta integrator with adaptive step-size control, a high order (15x15) GRACE gravity field, periodic variations to the gravity field coefficients incorporating polar motion and solid Earth tides, third body accelerations for the Sun, Venus, the Moon, Mars and Jupiter and general relativistic forces.The results show a consistent and significant reduction in orbit error with the introduction of each surface force model. This leads to a total error after 12 hours of less then 10cm along track when all of the surface models are applied.

KW - precise orbit determination

KW - spacecraft

KW - high fidelity surface force modelling

KW - orbital prediction

KW - solar radiation pressure

KW - thermal re-radiation

KW - Earth radiation pressure

KW - antenna thrust

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Grey S, Ziebart M. Developments in high fidelity surface force models and their relative effects on orbit prediction. In AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference. Reston, VA. 2014. 2014-4135A. (AIAA SPACE Forum). https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2014-4135