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Estimating the ballistic coefficient of a re-entry vehicle

Estimating the ballistic coefficient of a re-entry vehicle

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Theoretical bounds for estimating the ballistic coefficient of a ballistic object during the re-entry phase have been addressed. One essential characteristic of the vehicle trajectory is its deceleration when it reaches dense atmospheric layers. The intensity of the phenomenon is proportional to a scalar, called the ballistic coefficient. This leads to an highly nonlinear time-varying dynamic. To understand the dimensioning parameters for estimating the ballistic coefficient, accurate approximations of the Fisher information matrix are developed. The main result is a closed-form expression of a lower bound for the variance of the ballistic coefficient estimate.

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