Team title:  Assessing Thermospheric Neutral Density Models using GEODYN's Precision Orbit DeterminationJoin The Team

Team ID: G2A-04

Team Leads:

Katherine Garcia-Sage (NASA/GSFC, USA),

Zach Waldron (Colorado University Boulder, USA),

Keywords (impact): Satellite/debris drag

Keywords (activity type): Data Utilization, Assessment


Historic neutral density data is extremely limited, precluding the full assessment of models throughout a range of time periods, latitudes, local times, and driving conditions. In order to extend potential datasets for model assessments as well as carry out assessment of operationally-relevant quantities, we use the GEODYN II orbit propagator in conjunction with satellite Precise Orbit Determination (POD) to assess the orbit prediction capabilities of thermospheric neutral density models.


We will carry out orbit propagation assessment using ICESat-2 precise science orbit data. This data is available throughout the ICESat-2 mission lifetime. Similar assessments will be carried out for additional satellites, to be determined.

Action topics:

  • Identification and preparation of critical datasets for assimilation and assessment, and optimized exploitation
  • Assessment of thermosphere neutral density modeling capability and tracing progress over time
  • Satellite drag modeling



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