Competition

KePASSA 2017-2019 SOFTWARE COMPETITION

Denis Hautesserres. CNES, Toulouse, France.

e-mail: Denis.Hautesserres@cnes.fr

 

1 Abstract


The challenge is to recover the current orbit of the space debris COSMOS 862. The orbit is a Molniya-like orbit which is affected by mean motion resonance of the tesseral terms of the Earth potential, and the secular resonances of the Moon and Sun. Until now we can compute tens of years of the orbit, however we cannot recover the last years. For illustrative purposes we show our computations obtained with: 1) the software COWELL (CNES), a high accuracy numerical propagator with a high fidelity perturbation models including zonal and tesseral terms of the Earth potential, the lunisolar differential potential, the solar radiation pressure and the atmospheric drag; 2) the software HEOSAT [4] a semi-analytical propagator dedicated to HEO; 3) the software NADIA [5] an analytical first order propagator. The whole Two-Line Elements time series of COSMOS 862 is available on the SpaceTrack web site https://www.space-track.org/, with the NORAD identification of Satellite Number 09495U and International Designator 76105A.

The participants of the competition will have to compute the orbit of COSMOS862 from 1977 to 2017 using TLEs available in the window from 03/07/1977 0:57:24 to 03/27/1978 9:52:19 p.m. (provided to all the participants).

 

2 Pre-Event, Initial Condition and Final State

 

Cosmos 862 was the first of a new class of operational satellites in highly elliptical, semi-synchronous orbits that experienced a total of 16 fragmentations during the period 1977-1986. Due to the nature of these orbits, which result in high altitudes over the Northern Hemisphere where most surveillance sensors are located, debris detection and tracking is extremely difficult. Only the largest fragments can be observed. Cosmos 862 spacecraft were equipped with self-destruct packages in
the event that spacecraft control was lost; this was the cause of breakups until the explosives were removed after Cosmos 1481 [1] [2].


We do not know more, and we decided arbitrarily to take the initial orbit after the first fragmentation event.We are aware that there have been other fragmentation events, but the first propagations we did forward and backward showed that the orbit of our specific fragment can be computed over the last 40 years without the need of modelling further fragmentations.

 

The orbit before the first fragmentation event (pre-event) comes from the TLE


1 09495U 76105 A 77066.03986408 -.00001167 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9996
2 09495 063.1553 098.8078 7312859 318.6653 004.4196 02.00311741002734


The initial condition of the orbit (post-event) comes from the TLE


1 09495U 76105 A 77086.00446230 -.00001641 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9996
2 09495 063.1241 095.9882 7303996 318.6222 004.7578 02.00381387003149


The final state of the orbit (current orbit) comes from the TLE


1 09495U 76105A 17066.10325385 .00000819 00000-0 00000+0 0 9990
2 09495 69.5893 237.8482 6069148 300.4063 13.3012 2.00361732173693

 

3 First Computation


We show the first orbit propagations we computed thanks to software COWELL, HEOSAT and NADIA (Fig. 1).


We obtained the initial osculating orbital elements of the propagation from the transformed TLE of the initial condition by SGP4 in the ECI VEIS reference frame[3]. For the computation of the ballistic coefficient we assumed an area of 3.4 m2 and a mass of 1250.0 kg.

 

KePASSA 2017-2019 Software Competition

cosmos_862

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig. 1 The green scatter shows the TLEs. None of the softwares could propagate over 40 years to recover the current orbit. The propagation of the orbit is close to the TLE time series during 15 years, so the post-event elements fit well.


4 Rules of Competition


The initial condition is given by the post-event elements. The window of the following 12 months of TLEs, plus the pre-event TLE, can be used to fit the initial condition and the dynamical parameters before propagating the orbit. Thus 38 orbits, given by the TLEs, are available for the fit (participants cannot use TLE outside this window). We provide x. 6 the available TLEs window. We emphasize that the pre-event TLEs can be used in the orbit determination process, although this should be handle with care due to the presence of the fragmentation event.


The propagated states need to be provided from the initial condition (03/27/1977 0:06:25) to the final state (03/07/2017 2:28:41) on a time grid of 1 day, Julian Day format. The results can be provided in cartesian state, or classical keplerian elements in the ECI J2000 reference frame using km, km/s and deg as units. We ask for an ASCII file with 7 columns, either [t;x;y; z; ;vx;vy; vz] or [t;a;e; i; Ω; ω; Θ;] and a short report summarising the approach.

The solutions must be sent to the KePASSA Conference Series Scientific Committee  (comite.kepassa@sympa.obspm.fr) by March 1, 2019. A special session will be dedicated to the competition during the next conference spring 2019, where we will announce the laureate, and all the good results.

 

5 Scientific Committee


The solutions will be assessed by the members of the KePASSA Conference Series Scientific Committee during dedicated meetings.


The contact is Denis Hautesserres (Denis.Hautesserres@cnes.fr & @gmail.com).

 

6. TLEs Window

 

1 09495U 76105A 77066.03986408 -.00001167 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9996
2 09495 063.1553 098.8078 7312859 318.6653 004.4196 02.00311741002734
1 09495U 76105A 77086.00446230 -.00001641 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9996
2 09495 063.1241 095.9882 7303996 318.6222 004.7578 02.00381387003149
1 09495U 76105A 77088.99882377 -.00001523 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9991
2 09495 063.1130 095.5576 7296092 318.9022 004.7685 02.00373490003203
1 09495U 76105A 77092.99144972 -.00001408 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9990
2 09495 063.1330 095.0077 7301605 318.6915 004.8043 02.00364041003280
1 09495U 76105A 77094.98777458 -.00001252 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9999
2 09495 063.1277 094.7123 7301179 318.7012 004.8252 02.00362154003323
1 09495U 76105A 77104.97021877 -.00000755 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9994
2 09495 063.1814 093.2719 7297554 318.6973 004.8894 02.00344393003520
1 09495U 76105A 77114.95322740 -.00001043 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9997
2 09495 063.1766 091.8935 7300106 318.6961 004.6329 02.00322298003728
1 09495U 76105A 77117.44941068 -.00001014 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9992
2 09495 063.1842 091.5376 7299363 318.7006 004.7918 02.00318158003772
1 09495U 76105A 77119.44620939 -.00000972 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9997
2 09495 063.1833 091.2467 7298454 318.7170 004.7950 02.00315492003811
1 09495U 76105A 77122.44147856 -.00000763 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9991
2 09495 063.2502 090.7953 7293142 318.7161 004.9023 02.00315423003871
1 09495U 76105A 77123.93894830 -.00000583 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9997
2 09495 063.2722 090.5867 7292694 318.7038 004.8669 02.00317590003907
1 09495U 76105A 77131.92632485 -.00000467 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9992
2 09495 063.3176 089.4489 7287921 318.7164 004.8583 02.00311380004069
1 09495U 76105A 77137.91698495 -.00000334 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9993
2 09495 063.3564 088.6019 7285027 318.6904 004.8845 02.00309304004183
1 09495U 76105A 77144.90614086 .00000388 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9992
2 09495 063.3788 087.6178 7281839 318.6802 004.8770 02.00296394004327
1 09495U 76105A 77146.40378968 .00000417 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9998
2 09495 063.3668 087.3933 7271722 318.6497 004.9623 02.00312453004356
1 09495U 76105A 77156.88695198 .00000649 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9995
2 09495 063.4027 085.9427 7267395 318.6183 004.8167 02.00319859004563
1 09495U 76105A 77168.86733540 .00000942 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9996
2 09495 063.4671 084.2890 7261764 318.5585 004.8961 02.00335678004809
1 09495U 76105A 77179.84828401 .00001117 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9992
2 09495 063.5031 082.7647 7257099 318.5229 004.9976 02.00356521005026
1 09495U 76105A 77189.33070206 .00001191 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9991
2 09495 063.5401 081.4595 7252249 318.4923 005.0473 02.00378271005218
1 09495U 76105A 77211.78471050 .00001317 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9998
2 09495 063.6629 078.4018 7242804 318.3912 005.0901 02.00434811005668
1 09495U 76105A 77223.25868617 .00001360 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9990
2 09495 063.7101 076.8433 7238873 318.3506 005.0743 02.00464890005896
1 09495U 76105A 77235.72844686 .00001337 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9999
2 09495 063.7699 075.1629 7231757 318.3135 005.0702 02.00497617006146
1 09495U 76105A 77246.20146536 .00001296 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9997
2 09495 063.8226 073.7719 7226580 318.2661 005.0296 02.00524587006356
1 09495U 76105A 77264.15215492 .00001250 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9999
2 09495 063.8763 071.3420 7218959 318.2131 005.0817 02.00570832006711
1 09495U 76105A 77275.61845398 .00001229 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9992
2 09495 063.9572 069.7860 7213074 318.1909 004.9746 02.00599555006941
1 09495U 76105A 77295.05779897 .00001182 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9990
2 09495 064.0219 067.1832 7205559 318.1100 004.9405 02.00646200007330
1 09495U 76105A 77307.51677089 .00001232 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9991
2 09495 064.0614 065.5491 7201389 317.9639 005.0591 02.00675616007581
1 09495U 76105A 77331.43234203 .00001267 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9994
2 09495 064.1814 062.4063 7190119 317.7958 005.2165 02.00735839008062
1 09495U 76105A 77341.89313964 .00001304 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9999
2 09495 064.2276 061.0319 7187269 317.7101 005.2438 02.00761945008279
1 09495U 76105A 77353.34859210 .00001252 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9993
2 09495 064.2798 059.5567 7180729 317.5945 005.3732 02.00791088008508
1 09495U 76105A 77364.30432757 .00001231 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9991
2 09495 064.3640 058.1711 7180851 317.3633 005.4059 02.00819296008728
1 09495U 76105A 78021.21139515 .00000970 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9997
2 09495 064.4590 055.3197 7163162 317.3181 005.3897 02.00870030009165
1 09495U 76105A 78031.16744484 .00000823 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9996
2 09495 064.4988 054.0551 7165655 317.1351 005.4048 02.00890715009365
1 09495U 76105A 78042.11794625 .00000525 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9994
2 09495 064.5491 052.6493 7160207 317.0292 005.3460 02.00908661009586
1 09495U 76105A 78053.06771392 .00000242 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9992
2 09495 064.6045 051.2613 7154594 316.9097 005.3484 02.00921077009801
1 09495U 76105A 78064.01701911 -.00000089 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9999
2 09495 064.6521 049.8732 7150474 316.7809 005.3511 02.00926900010024
1 09495U 76105A 78075.96166721 -.00000418 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9995
2 09495 064.6879 048.3502 7146323 316.6158 005.3682 02.00924782010264
1 09495U 76105A 78086.91133762 -.00000646 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 9994
2 09495 064.7294 046.9719 7142218 316.4697 005.5086 02.00917068010488

 

References


1. NASA/TM-2008-214779, HISTORY OF ON-ORBIT SATELLITE FRAGMENTATIONS, 14th Edition, Orbital Debris Program Office, p.116, June 2008.
2. History of Soviet/Russian Satellite Fragmentations-A Joint U.S.-Russian Investigation, N. L. Johnson et al, Kaman Sciences Corporation, October 1995.
3. G. Veis, Precise Aspects of Terrestrial and Celestial Reference Frames. SAO Special Report No. 123, 1963.
4. M. Lara, J.F. San-Juan, D. Hautesserres, HEOSAT: A mean elements orbit propagator program for highly elliptical orbits. CEAS Space Journal 10(1), 3-23 (2018).
5. D. Hautesserres, Analytical Integration of the Osculating Lagrange Planetary Equations in the Elliptic Orbital Motion - MainBody up to degree 4, 3rd-Body up to degree 3, SRP, + Atmospheric Drag - Software NADIA. In: Presentation at KePASSA-2017, ESA, July 2527, 2017.