Online Estimation of Mean Orbital Elements with Control Inputs

Estimating the mean orbital elements is essential for satellite orbit determination as well as guidance and autonomous orbital transfer. Whereas offline estimation of mean elements can be performed using batch processing and analytical satellite theories, online estimation requires recursive filtering. This paper proposes a unique formulation for mean orbital elements estimation, wherein the semianalytical theory is used for generating both the process and measurement equations, but the mean elements estimation is performed using an Unscented Kalman Filter. A comprehensive performance evaluation for both controlled and uncontrolled orbits shows the potential applicability of the method and its advantages compared to Brouwer-based approaches.