The proposed Ocean Topography Experiment (TOPEX) is an earth satellite mission currently under consideration by NASA. The primary purpose of the experiment is to determine the general circulation of the oceans and its variability. High precision, space based altimeter measurements will be combined with surface measurements and ocean models to accomplish the mission objectives. The paper will discuss mission requirements on orbit design, orbit selection space, derived requirements on navigation and satellite design issues which impact orbit selection. Unique aspects of the TOPEX orbit design are highlighted, such as high precision repeating orbits, 'frozen orbit' values of eccentricity and periapses, precise maneuver and orbit determination requirements and insuring crossing arcs over a calibration-site.
AIAA PAPER 83-0197
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Aerospace Sciences Meeting; Jan. 10-13, 1983; Reno, NV