This paper demonstrates an initial orbit determination method that solves the problem by a genetic algorithm using two well-known solutions for the Lambert's problem: universal variable method and Battin method. This paper also suggests an intuitive error evaluation method in terms of rotational angle and orbit shape by separating orbit elements into two groups. As reference orbit, mean orbit elements (original two-lines elements) and osculating orbit elements considering the J2 effect are adopted and compared. Our proposed orbit determination method has been tested with actual optical observations of a geosynchronous spacecraft. It should be noted that this demonstration of the orbit determination is limited to one test case. This observation was conducted during approximately 70 min on 2013/05/15 UT. Our method was compared with the orbit elements propagated by SGP4 using the TLE of the spacecraft. The result indicates that our proposed method had a slightly better performance on estimating orbit shape than Gauss's methods and Escobal's method by 120 km. In addition, the result of the rotational angle is closer to the osculating orbit elements than the mean orbit elements by 0.02, which supports that the estimated orbit is valid.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aerospace Engineering
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Atmospheric Science
- Space and Planetary Science
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences