I have a script that uses the Gauss method for Prilimanry Orbit determination of satellites using 3 sets of ra-dec and the corresponding LST (adapted from the MatLab example given in the appendix of the book "Orbital Mechanics For Engineering Students"). However, this method works like a charm for Middle Earth Orbit Satellites and not so good for Low Earth Orbit Satellites. I was wondering if there is any other way to do preliminary orbit determination for LEO satellites using angles only information (along with time of observation).

Any help/suggestion/comment is appreciated.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you have any thoughts why this method not work well for LEO orbits (or at least your particular data set) and why you think another method might work better? If you can, it might be a good idea to spend a little more time describing what went wrong and what you need to improve, otherwise this could turn out to be an xy problem where you are asking for a new method (x) but you should be asking what's wrong with the nature or quality of your dataset (y). What is the XY problem? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 24, 2020 at 12:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nothing precludes the use of Gauss's method for performing an initial orbit determination of a LEO satellite, but there are other angles-only IOD methods (Herrick-Gibbs, Laplace). $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Mar 24, 2020 at 21:10


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