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Improving Satellite Orbit Estimation Using Commercial Cameras

Ayman Hamdy Kassem(1), Gamal Mohamad El-Bayoumi(2), Tamer Mekky Habib(3), Karim Ahmed Kamalaldin(4*)

(1) Aerospace Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt
(2) Aerospace Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt
(3) National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, Space Division, Spacecraft Dynamics and Control Department, Cairo, Egypt
(4) Mission Analysis, Space Dynamics, and Control Engineer, National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, The Egyptian Space Program, Egypt
(*) Corresponding author



This paper presents a simple methodology for improving the estimation of a satellite orbit. It combines a low cost propagator and azimuth and elevation optical measurements, collected by a low-cost commercial camera, to correct orbit initial conditions. The corrected satellite Initial condition is fed to the propagator to allow accurate orbit propagation for longer period of time. The correction process aims at minimizing the deviation between optical measurements and numerical orbit calculations. A Genetic Algorithm procedure is used for the minimization process. The International space station (ISS) is used as a case study for the proposed methodology. The results show that it is possible to improve satellite orbit Estimation using measurements acquired from low cost cameras under certain conditions. The conditions and limitations for the methodology will be also discussed in this work.
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Orbit Estimation; Satellite Optical Observation; Genetic Algorithms Optimization; ISS Optical Observation; and Orbit Determination

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