Project proposal for SOCIS 2019: Orbit Determination with SatNOGS


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ESA is launching a new Summer Of Code In Space (SOCIS, see https://socis.esa.int/) in 2019.
SOCIS allows students to work on open source projects that are related to space. As usual, the Orekit project applied to be a mentoring organization.

We propose the following subject this year. Note that it is a joint proposal with Libre Space Foundation (see https://libre.space/).

The subject is to evaluate if it would be feasible to set up an orbit determination system based on Orekit and using the SatNOGS network.
Orekit already has all the needed building block for it (propagation, frames and time conversion, least
squares and Kalman orbit determination, several measurements types including Doppler, measurements generator for simulation…). If the antennas in SatNOGS network would be able to provide measured Doppler shifts, they could be used as measurements for an orbit determination.

The student work could be to simply prototype this by simulating measurements, based on the number of existing stations in SatNOGS network, and then estimated the Doppler measurements accuracy that would be needed for an operational system. The SatNOGS team could use this as a specification to have the antenna hardware/software produce measurements at this level of precision. Another possibility, if antennas are already able to produce Doppler shifts would be to really use them and perform a real orbit determination run.