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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 723414, 11 pages
Research Article

GPS Based Reduced-Dynamic Orbit Determination for Low Earth Orbiters with Ambiguity Fixing

1School of Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU), Xi’an 710072, China
2National Key Laboratory of Aerospace Flight Dynamics (AFDL), NPU, Xi’an 710072, China

Received 29 March 2015; Accepted 31 May 2015

Academic Editor: Paolo Tortora

Copyright © 2015 Yang Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


With the ever-increasing number of satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) for scientific missions, the precise determination of the position and velocity of the satellite is a necessity. GPS (Global Positioning System) based reduced-dynamic orbit determination (RPOD) method is commonly used in the post processing with high precision. This paper presents a sequential RPOD strategy for LEO satellite in the framework of Extended Kalman Filter (EKF). Precise Point Positioning (PPP) technique is used to process the GPS observations, with carrier phase ambiguity resolution using Integer Phase Clocks (IPCs) products. A set of GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) mission data is used to test and validate the RPOD performance. Results indicate that orbit determination accuracy could be improved by 15% in terms of 3D RMS error in comparison with traditional RPOD method with float ambiguity solutions.