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The fundamental function of any satellite mission analysis tool is the accurate prediction of orbits. Spacecraft are subject to perturbing forces such as gravity, atmospheric drag, gravitational perturbations from the Sun and the Moon, Sun and Earth radiation pressure, and tides. Gravity is clearly the largest force that the satellites encounter, while the importance of the rest is quite dependent on the altitude of the satellite (Bussy-Virat et al., 2018(a)).

The Spacecraft Orbital Characterization Kit (SpOCK) models these forces and sums them to compute the satellite acceleration. From this, the velocity and position are derived through numerical integration using modern numerical techniques.

Visit this section to learn more about the algorithm implemented in SpOCK, as well as some of its features.