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Improving the Orbits of the BDS-2 IGSO and MEO Satellites with Compensating Thermal Radiation Pressure Parameters

Wang, Chen; Guo, Jing; Zhao, Qile; Ge, Maorong

The orbit accuracy of the navigation satellites relies on the accurate knowledge of the forces on the spacecraft, in particular the non-conservative perturbations. This study focuses on the Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites of the regional Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS-2), for which apparent deficiencies of non-conservative models are identified and evidenced in the Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) residuals. The orbit errors derived from the empirical 5-parameter Extended CODE Orbit Model (ECOM) as well as a semi-analytical adjustable box-wing model show prominent dependency on the Sun elongation angle, even in the yaw-steering attitude mode. Hence, a periodic acceleration in the normal direction of the +X surface, presumably generated by the mismodeled thermal radiation pressure, is introduced. The SLR validations reveal that the Sun elongation angle-dependent systematic errors were significantly reduced, and the orbit accuracy was improved by 10–30% to approximately 4.5 cm and 3.0 cm for the BDS-2 IGSO and MEO satellites, respectively.
Published in: Remote Sensing, 10.3390/rs14030641, MDPI