semination of orbit and catalog information. For example, the low-accuracy GP catalog is currently locked into the decades-old and inflexible two-line element (TLE) format that does not allow for various levels of accuracy or the inclusion of ancillary information. This legacy format also makes any updates extremely difficult, if not impossible, because of the extent to which these formats are embedded in the user community. The database solutions mentioned here can resolve this problem by placing an additional layer before the TLE dissemination, thereby enabling non-TLE ephemeris inputs to be transformed automatically into a TLE format for those organizations that want only this information, yet allowing a pathway for greatly improved ephemeris predictions and additional information for organizations that have found the TLEs to be inadequate for their needs (see Figure 2.3).

Recommendation: Air Force Space Command should work with Air Force Materiel Command, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other community members to create and expand research programs in the astrodynamics research and development community through the Air Force Research Laboratory to:

• Measure, model, and forecast conditions in the upper atmosphere;

• Develop and implement improved nongravitational models for solar radiation pressure and atmospheric drag;

• Develop and implement continued improvements to gravitational modeling;

• Investigate new data association methods, especially for breakups in low Earth orbit and geostationary Earth orbit clusters;

• Develop a program to better characterize sensor-level errors including biases to improve the input to orbit determination;

• Improve nonlinear estimation and the representation of uncertainty to ensure realism in estimations of uncertainty (covariance);

• Investigate modern methods of dynamical systems to develop new ways to analyze and handle astrodynamics challenges;

• Continue to develop and improve classical analytical techniques for the efficient description and prediction of satellite motion; and

• Explore new techniques to meet community needs.



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