Tracking Error Propagation and Orbit Prediction Program

by R. Mobley, Louis N. Rowell, Myron C. Smith


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Description of TEPOP (Tracking Error Propagation and Orbit Prediction Program), a RAND-modified FORTRAN IV program used in the AFSC/ADC Joint Mission Analysis on Surveillance of Objects in Space. TEPOP simulates space-vehicle tracking data from as many as 54 sensors. RAND improvements: Sensors may be satellite-based, may rotate, may be limited in azimuth, elevation, and range; drag bias can be included; the JPL ephemeris tape is used; and the program was converted to double-precision. Besides determining a target's path from real data, TEPOP can be used to generate synthetic data for objects orbiting earth, sun, moon, Mars, Venus, or Jupiter, or on an interplanetary course; to study the effects of introducing random and systematic errors; and to generate confidence regions for position and velocity. The reference coordinate system is automatically centered on whichever body influences the tracked object at the time.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.