A method of estimating residuals in orbital theory

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1961 - Science - 10 pages
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The degree of approximation used in determining the orbits of earth satellites is reflected in the residuals (differences between calculated and observed positions). The least-squares procedure generally used to fit theory to observation tends to obscure the significance of theoretical parameters, so that the physical sources of residuals cease to be apparent. A method is outlined herein for estimating the magnitude of the residuals to be expected from an approximate theory presumed to have one missing or incorrect term.

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