Commenced in January 2007
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The First Ground Track Maintenance Manoeuvre of THEOS Spacecraft

Authors: Pornthep Navakitkanok, Ammarin Pimnoo, Seksan Jaturat


THEOS is the first earth observation spacecraft of Thailand which was launched on the 1st October 2008 and is currently operated by GISTDA. The transfer phase has been performed by Astrium Flight Dynamics team leading to a hand over to GISTDA teams starting mid-October 2008. The THEOS spacecraft-s orbit is LEO and has the same repetitivity (14+5/26) as the SPOT spacecraft, i.e. the same altitude of 822 km but it has a different mean local solar time (LST). Ground track maintenance manoeuvres are performed to maintain the ground track within a predefined control band around the reference ground track and the band is ±40 km for THEOS spacecraft. This paper presents the first ground track maintenance manoeuvre of THEOS spacecraft and the detailed results. In addition, it also includes one and a half year of operation as seen by GISTDA operators. It finally describes the foreseenable activities for the next orbit control manoeuvre (OCM) preparation.

Keywords: LEO, Orbit Control Manoeuvre, Ground Track Error, Local Solar Time Error, THEOS

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