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Relative positioning of spacecraft in intense ionospheric conditions byGPS

Tancredi, Urbano and Allende-Alba, Gerardo and Renga, A. and Montenbruck, Oliver and Grassi, M. (2015) Relative positioning of spacecraft in intense ionospheric conditions byGPS. Aerospace Science and Technology, 43, pp. 191-198. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.ast.2015.02.020 ISSN 1270-9638

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Abstract

Precise relative positioning by GPS is attempted traditionally by fixing the differential carrier phase cycle ambiguities to their integer values. This approach is of high interest for formation flying satellites in low Earth orbit since it can potentially deliver relative positions with (sub-)centimeter accuracy, but at the same time complicates the navigation system hardware and software. As an alternative to the fixed solution, different processing approaches making use of float carrier phase ambiguities can be proposed. The most simple of these solutions is analyzed in the present study and it is formed by differencing the float ambiguity–absolute navigation solutions obtained with navigation filters running independently on board each spacecraft. This paper presents a quantitative evaluation of the different accuracy achievable by the two approaches. Because in typical conditions ambiguity resolution should provide a markedly higher accuracy than the float solution approach under study, a particularly challenging condition for ambiguity resolution is considered. Specifically, a scenario where the inter-satellite separation is of hundreds kilometers and the ionospheric activity is severe is analyzed. The effect of un-modeled systematic errors is addressed by using real-world data from the Gravity Recovery AndClimate Experiment (GRACE) mission. Results suggest that in such challenging conditions the two approaches have a similar decimeter-level accuracy.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/100277/
Document Type:Article
Title:Relative positioning of spacecraft in intense ionospheric conditions byGPS
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Tancredi, UrbanoUniv. Naples "Parthenope"UNSPECIFIED
Allende-Alba, GerardoUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Renga, A.Univ. Naples "Federico II"UNSPECIFIED
Montenbruck, OliverDLR/GSOCUNSPECIFIED
Grassi, M.Univ. Naples "Federico II"UNSPECIFIED
Date:2015
Journal or Publication Title:Aerospace Science and Technology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:43
DOI :10.1016/j.ast.2015.02.020
Page Range:pp. 191-198
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1270-9638
Status:Published
Keywords:Differential GPS, Satellite formation flying, Intense ionosphere, Long baseline
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Technik für Raumfahrtsysteme
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Infrastruktur und Unterstützung für Raumflugbetrieb
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training
Deposited By: Montenbruck, Dr.rer.nat.hab. Oliver
Deposited On:07 Dec 2015 14:04
Last Modified:10 May 2016 23:36

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