Orbit determination of high-Earth-Orbit satellites by satellite laser ranging

Hyungjik Oh, Eunseo Park, Hyung Chul Lim, Sang Ryool Lee, Jae Dong Choi, Chandeok Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents the application of satellite laser ranging (SLR) to orbit determination (OD) of high-Earth-orbit (HEO) satellites. Two HEO satellites are considered: the Quasi-Zenith Satellite-1 (QZS-1), a Japanese elliptical-inclinedgeosynchronous- orbit (EIGSO) satellite, and the Compass-G1, a Chinese geostationary-orbit (GEO) satellite. One week of normal point (NP) data were collected for each satellite to perform the OD based on the batch least-square process. Five SLR tracking stations successfully obtained 374 NPs for QZS-1 in eight days, whereas only two ground tracking stations could track Compass-G1, yielding 68 NPs in ten days. Two types of station bias estimation and a station data weighting strategy were utilized for the OD of QZS-1. The post-fit root-mean-square (RMS) residuals of the two week-long arcs were 11.98 cm and 10.77 cm when estimating the biases once in an arc (MBIAS). These residuals were decreased significantly to 2.40 cm and 3.60 cm by estimating the biases every pass (PBIAS). Then, the resultant OD precision was evaluated by the orbit overlap method, yielding three-dimensional errors of 55.013 m with MBIAS and 1.962 m with PBIAS for the overlap period of six days. For the OD of Compass-G1, no station weighting strategy was applied, and only MBIAS was utilized due to the lack of NPs. The post-fit RMS residuals of OD were 8.81 cm and 12.00 cm with 49 NPs and 47 NPs, respectively, and the corresponding threedimensional orbit overlap error for four days was 160.564 m. These results indicate that the amount of SLR tracking data is critical for obtaining precise OD of HEO satellites using SLR because additional parameters, such as station bias, are available for estimation with sufficient tracking data. Furthermore, the stand-alone SLR-based orbit solution is consistently attainable for HEO satellites if a target satellite is continuously trackable for a specific period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-279
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Astronomy and Space Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Korean Space Science Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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