Comparison of ENVISAT’s attitude simulation and real optical and SLR observations in order to refine the satellite attitude model

Silha, Jiri; Schildknecht, Thomas; Pittet, Jean-Noël; Bodenmann, Dominik; Kanzler, R.; Kärräng, P.; Krag, H. (2016). Comparison of ENVISAT’s attitude simulation and real optical and SLR observations in order to refine the satellite attitude model. AMOS Technical Papers. Curran Associates, Inc.

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The Astronomic Institute of the University of Bern (AIUB) in cooperation with other three partners is involved in an ESA study dedicated to the attitude determination of large spacecraft and upper stages. Two major goals are defined. First is the long term prediction of tumbling rates (e.g. 10 years) for selected targets for the future Active Debris Removal (ADR) missions. Second goal is the attitude state determination in case of contingencies, when a short response time is required between the observations themselves and the attitude determination. One of the project consortium partners, hypersonic Technology Goettingen (HTG), is developing a highly modular software tool ιOTA to perform short- (days) to long-term (years) propagations of the orbit and the attitude motion of spacecraft in space. Furthermore,
ιOTA's post-processing modules will generate synthetic measurements, e.g. light curves, SLR residuals and Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) images that can be compared with the real measurements. In our work we will present the first attempt to compare real measurements with synthetic measurements in order to estimate the attitude state of tumbling satellite E
NVISAT from observations performed by AIUB. We will shortly discuss the ESA project and ιOTA software tool. We will present AIUB’s ENVISAT attitude state determined from the SLR ranges acquired by the Zimmerwald SLR stati
on. This state was used as the initial conditions within the ιOTA software. Consequently the attitude of satellite was predicted by using ιOTA and compared with the real SLR residuals, as well with the high frame-rate light curves acquired by the Zimmerwald 1-m telescope.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Silha, Jiri; Schildknecht, Thomas; Pittet, Jean-Noël and Bodenmann, Dominik


500 Science > 520 Astronomy




Curran Associates, Inc.




Alessandro Vananti

Date Deposited:

13 Feb 2017 15:17

Last Modified:

10 Nov 2017 18:39

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