Development Of New Toolkits For Orbit Determination Codes For Precise Radio Tracking Experiments

Zannoni, Marco (2014) Development Of New Toolkits For Orbit Determination Codes For Precise Radio Tracking Experiments, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Meccanica e scienze avanzate dell'ingegneria, 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6536.
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This thesis describes the developments of new models and toolkits for the orbit determination codes to support and improve the precise radio tracking experiments of the Cassini-Huygens mission, an interplanetary mission to study the Saturn system. The core of the orbit determination process is the comparison between observed observables and computed observables. Disturbances in either the observed or computed observables degrades the orbit determination process. Chapter 2 describes a detailed study of the numerical errors in the Doppler observables computed by NASA's ODP and MONTE, and ESA's AMFIN. A mathematical model of the numerical noise was developed and successfully validated analyzing against the Doppler observables computed by the ODP and MONTE, with typical relative errors smaller than 10%. The numerical noise proved to be, in general, an important source of noise in the orbit determination process and, in some conditions, it may becomes the dominant noise source. Three different approaches to reduce the numerical noise were proposed. Chapter 3 describes the development of the multiarc library, which allows to perform a multi-arc orbit determination with MONTE. The library was developed during the analysis of the Cassini radio science gravity experiments of the Saturn's satellite Rhea. Chapter 4 presents the estimation of the Rhea's gravity field obtained from a joint multi-arc analysis of Cassini R1 and R4 fly-bys, describing in details the spacecraft dynamical model used, the data selection and calibration procedure, and the analysis method followed. In particular, the approach of estimating the full unconstrained quadrupole gravity field was followed, obtaining a solution statistically not compatible with the condition of hydrostatic equilibrium. The solution proved to be stable and reliable. The normalized moment of inertia is in the range 0.37-0.4 indicating that Rhea's may be almost homogeneous, or at least characterized by a small degree of differentiation.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Zannoni, Marco
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Ingegneria industriale
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Radio science, orbit determination, numerical noise, planetary missions, planetary geodesy
Data di discussione
7 Maggio 2014

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