Use of nonlinearities for increased observability in relative orbit estimation

Jingwei Wang, Eric Butcher, T. Alan Lovell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper, the effects of incorporating nonlinearities in sequential relative orbit estimation are studied for a chief spacecraft in a circular orbit, assuming either range or line-of-sight measurement of the deputy from the chief. The relative motion models used in an extended Kalman filter can be categorized into four cases: first order (HCW equation), second order, third order and full nonlinear. Observability is studied analytically using Lie derivatives and numerically with the observability index and condition number obtained from employing an extended Kalman filter. The results highlight the improving benefits of using higher order nonlinear models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAstrodynamics 2015
EditorsJames D. Turner, Geoff G. Wawrzyniak, William Todd Cerven, Manoranjan Majji
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780877036296
StatePublished - 2016
EventAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, ASC 2015 - Vail, United States
Duration: Aug 9 2015Aug 13 2015

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


OtherAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, ASC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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