Simplified Approach to Detect Satellite Maneuvers Using TLE Data and Simplified Perturbation Model Utilizing Orbital Element Variation
In this study, an algorithm to identify the maneuvers of a satellite is developed by comparing the Keplerian elements acquired from the two-line elements (TLEs) and Keplerian elements propagated from simplified perturbation models. TLEs contain a specific set of orbital elements, whereas the simplified perturbation models are used to propagate the state vectors at a given time. By comparing the corresponding Keplerian elements derived from both methods, a satellite’s maneuver is identified. This article provides an outline of the working methodology and efficacy of the method. The function of this approach is evaluated in two case studies, i.e., TOPEX/Poseidon and Envisat, whose maneuver histories are available. The same method is implemented to identify the station-keeping maneuvers for TDRS-3, whose maneuver history is not available. Results derived from the analysis indicate that maneuvers with a magnitude of even as low as cm/s are detected when the detection parameters are calibrated properly.
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