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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 29, Iss. 25 — Sep. 1, 1990
  • pp: 3590–3596

Laser ranging error budget for the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite

Jon A. Schwartz  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 29, Issue 25, pp. 3590-3596 (1990)

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A laser ranging error budget is detailed, and a specific error budget is derived for the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite. A ranging uncertainty of 0.76 cm is predicted for TOPEX/POSEIDON at 20° elevation using the presently designed laser retroreflector array and only modest improvements in present system operations. Atmospheric refraction and satellite attitude effects cause the predicted range error to vary with satellite elevation angle from 0.71 cm at zenith to 0.76 cm at 20° elevation. This a priori error budget compares well with the ~1.2-cm rms a posteriori polynomial orbital fit using existing data taken for an extant satellite of similar size and orbit.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: January 15, 1990
Published: September 1, 1990

Jon A. Schwartz, "Laser ranging error budget for the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite," Appl. Opt. 29, 3590-3596 (1990)

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  1. J. W. Marini, C. W. Murray, “Correction of Laser Range Tracking Data for Atmospheric Refraction at Elevations Above 10 Degrees,” NASA Report X-591-73-351, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (Nov.1973).
  2. J. B. Abshire, C. S. Gardner, “Atmospheric Refractivity Corrections in Satellite Laser Ranging,” IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sensing GE-23, 414–425 (1985). [CrossRef]
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  4. C. S. Gardner, U. Illinois, Urbana–Champaign; private communication (July1989).
  5. J. A. Schwartz, “Pulse Spreading and Range Correction Analysis for Satellite Laser Ranging,” Appl. Opt. 29, 3597–3602 (1990). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. V. Nelson, Bendix Field Engineering Corp.; private communication (14Mar.1989).
  7. S. Dolinsky, “Range Correction Sensitivity to Attitude Control,” JPL Internal Memorandum 3391-88-37 (24Mar.1988).
  8. J. A. Schwartz, “Studies of Laser Ranging to the TOPEX Satellite,” Proc. Soc. Photo-Opt. Instrum. Eng. 885, 172–179 (1988).
  9. D. Sonnabend, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; personal communication.

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