Satellite Aerodynamic Model Identification
This project is run in collaboration with ESA and the TU-Delft Astrodynamics group. The objective of this research project is to investigate the use of angular acceleration measurements, in addition to the currently used linear accelerations, from the GOCE satellite, in order to gain knowledge on satellite aerodynamic model parameters and improve the resulting thermosphere density and wind data.
In the current situation, only the linear acceleration measurements are used in the data processing. The angular acceleration data from the accelerometers are currently ignored. The processing of the linear accelerations take place as follows: First, the aerodynamic accelerations are determined from the calibrated accelerometer measurements. This is done by modelling other non-gravitational accelerations, due to radiation pressure and thruster forces, and removing them from the measurements. An aerodynamic force and moment model of the satellite is subsequently identified, in which the density and crosswind are parameters to be solved in the comparison of model and observation.