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ISSN : 2093-5587(Print)
ISSN : 2093-1409(Online)
Journal of Astronomy and Space Sciences Vol.34 No.2 pp.139-151

A Deep Space Orbit Determination Software: Overview and Event Prediction Capability

Youngkwang Kim, Sang-Young Park, Eunji Lee, Minsik Kim


This paper presents an overview of deep space orbit determination software (DSODS), as well as validation and verification results on its event prediction capabilities. DSODS was developed in the MATLAB object-oriented programming environment to support the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) mission. DSODS has three major capabilities: celestial event prediction for spacecraft, orbit determination with deep space network (DSN) tracking data, and DSN tracking data simulation. To achieve its functionality requirements, DSODS consists of four modules: orbit propagation (OP), event prediction (EP), data simulation (DS), and orbit determination (OD) modules. This paper explains the highest-level data flows between modules in event prediction, orbit determination, and tracking data simulation processes. Furthermore, to address the event prediction capability of DSODS, this paper introduces OP and EP modules. The role of the OP module is to handle time and coordinate system conversions, to propagate spacecraft trajectories, and to handle the ephemerides of spacecraft and celestial bodies. Currently, the OP module utilizes the General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT) as a third-party software component for highfidelity deep space propagation, as well as time and coordinate system conversions. The role of the EP module is to predict celestial events, including eclipses, and ground station visibilities, and this paper presents the functionality requirements of the EP module. The validation and verification results show that, for most cases, event prediction errors were less than 10 millisec when compared with flight proven mission analysis tools such as GMAT and Systems Tool Kit (STK). Thus, we conclude that DSODS is capable of predicting events for the KPLO in real mission applications.