I am looking into modeling large scale constellation (hundreds of satellites) and there coverage over earth given a defined conical FOV. The simplified process is a user defines:
- Constellation (starting with walker-delta)
- Sensor FOV
- Evaluation Time period, and time step
- Grid density (how many points spaced out on earths surface)
And effectively the flow logic is at every deltaT, propagate the satellites and get their position coordinates, calculate their LOS and FOV access to the points on the ground and continue the process.
Now currently I have implemented a basic two body propagator which takes orbital elements, uses newtons method for the various "anomaly" calculations and conversions to effectively propagate using the orbital elements and then convert to cartesian at the end of each step.
I feel like this is an ineffecient method, since I have a fixed time step, and I also have the RV (position and velocity) componentes at the end of a time step. Is there a method to propogate in RV terms, instead of orbital elements that would be more accurate?
Some assumptions in my program:
- Only care about simplified J2 effects
- DO NOT care about drag
- Only dealing with LEO and MEO circular or elliptical orbits.
I think the assumptions I have entering into the analysis allow for very efficient calculations.
Also when I say time step, I am dealing with the order of 10's of seconds to several minutes over several months.