Precise orbit determination can be used to determine a number of diverse parameter sets, allowing use of similar techniques for a variety of applications. We have extensive experience and specialist knowledge in this field, as outlined below.
Precise Positioning and Navigation
GPS signals currently provide the prime source of data for Precise Positioning and Navigation. With expert knowledge of the mathematical models and data processing techniques, and through the use of highly complex software packages, centimetre-level accuracies for the satellite and user locations can be realised. The advent of the Galileo satellite navigation system, as Europe's answer to GPS, will allow the use of the same techniques to achieve even higher accuracies. We are presently developing RETINA (System for REal TIme NAvigation) for the European Space Agency, to allow the computation of highly accurate real time products.
Geodetic and Geophysical Parameters
Tracking of GPS and other satellites can provide information about the motion of the Earth's pole and about changes in its rotation rate. Other parameters that can be derived from satellite tracking data include coefficients of the Earth's gravity field and solid earth and ocean tide models .
Satellite-to-Satellite Tracking Applications
Low Earth Satellites, equipped with on-board GPS receivers, can be tracked using the GPS signals. The highest accuracies can be obtained if the GPS satellite orbits are also adjusted as part of the LEO satellite orbit determination. An emerging application of LEO satellite tracking with GPS is the determination of global meteorological profiles using observations from GPS satellites which just graze the earth's atmosphere. The change in the propagation delay due to the atmosphere is used to derive profiles of global temperature, pressure and relative humidity.