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Geodesy хрестоматия (+термины).doc
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Satellite-to-Satellite Tracking

Anew technique for using artificial satellites for geodetic purposes is being studied and tested. This technique uses satellites to track other satellites. There are a number of variations which may be used for specific purposes such as gravity field investigations and orbit improvement. A high altitude satellite may act as a relay from ground tracking stations to a low altitude satellite. In this way, low altitude satellites may be observed when they are not accessible to ground stations (Figure 34). In this type of tracking, a signal generated by a tracking station is received by the relay satellite and then retransmitted to a lower altitude satellite. This signal is then returned to the ground station by the same path. Two low altitude satellites can track one another observing mutual orbital variations caused by gravity field irregularities. Several high altitude satellites with accurately known orbits may be used to fix the position of a low altitude satellite (Figure 35). These examples present a few of the possibilities for the application of satellite-to-satellite tracking.

Satellite-to-satellite tracking data was first collected and analyzed in a high-low configuration between ATS-6 and GEOS-3. The data was studied to evaluate its potential for both orbit and gravitational model refinement. This experiment and others that followed proved this new technique to be an important tool for space geodesy.

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Inertial Surveying

Inertial Navigation is the art and science of determining the position and velocity of a vehicle solely by means of sensing that vehicle's accelerations and performing the necessary integrations to determine the position and velocity on a real-time basis. The inertial system is composed of precise accelerometers to sense specific force acting on the vehicle and precise gyros to maintain orientation of the accelerometers in a chosen coordinate frame or to determine the orientation of the accelerometers with respect to that frame. Computation is performed by a small on-board computer and the position and velocity of the vehicle are displayed on a real-time basis. In the two decades that inertial navigation has been used, continued hardware developments have brought a state-of-the-art in which the inertially determined position of the vehicle is sufficiently accurate that inertial techniques can be applied to surveying.

At the heart of the inertial surveyor is the inertial measuring unit which contains three sensitive accelerometers and three precise gyros. The accelerometers are mounted as a mutually orthogonal triad on a platform which is torqued by the gyros to maintain orientation with the local vertical and local north, that is, the three axes are oriented north-east-down. The accelerometers measure the specific force on the vehicle which is the sum of the vehicle's own accelerations and the local gravity vector. The digitized output of the accelerometers is processed in real-time by a digital computer. They are integrated once to give velocity, and integrated again to give distance traveled along each sensitive axis. The system does not yield the latitude, longitude and elevation directly. To the computed distances, which are referenced to inertial space, there must be added the initial position and a conversion to latitude, longitude, and elevation accomplished. Although high quality accelerometers and gyros are used in the system, they are still subject to drift and bias. This will cause a misalignment of the platform and errors in the sensed accelerations, which results in small errors in computed velocities and positions. The currently available inertial surveying systems must stop or hover at frequent intervals. At these times, a Kalman filter process corrects for the difference between the indicated velocity and zero, and calculates normal gravity, elevation, and anomalous gravity, but only at these points where remaining errors in platform alignment are also corrected by the Kalman filter.

It was stated above that the accelerometers sense the sum of the vehicle's acceleration and the local gravity vector and that the vehicle's accelerations are needed for integration into velocity and distance traveled. However, a model of the earth's gravity field is required to remove the accelerations due to gravity. In current systems, a very simplistic model is used in which only the downward gravity component resulting from an ellipsoidal earth is computed. Thus the system cannot correct for deflection of the vertical. Further, these deflections of the vertical result in erroneous platform alignments which may introduce errors as large as 40 cm in the computed positions.

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