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GPS III Vespucci: Results of half a year in orbit

Steigenberger, Peter and Thoelert, Steffen and Montenbruck, Oliver (2020) GPS III Vespucci: Results of half a year in orbit. Advances in Space Research, 66 (12), pp. 2773-2785. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.asr.2020.03.026. ISSN 0273-1177.

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273117720301988


The spacecraft nicknamed Vespucci is the first GPS III satellite launched in December 2018. Numerous receivers of the global International GNSS Service network tracked the signals of this new generation of GPS spacecraft from January to July 2019. This data set serves as the basis for analysis of broadcast ephemeris performance and clock stability, as well as solar radiation pressure and satellite antenna phase center models. Different empirical orbit models are tested, and box-wing models are developed based on approximate dimensions, mass, and assumed optical properties. The box-wing models show in general a better performance than the empirical models. Compared to Block IIF satellites, the stability of the GPS III rubidium clock is higher for integration times up to 10 s. At longer integration times, the stability of both clocks is similar but the GPS III clock does not suffer from frequency-specific line bias variations that affect the apparent IIF clock. Estimated antenna phase center offsets agree on the centimeter level with the calibrations published by the manufacturer. Measurements with a 30-m high-gain antenna revealed that the satellite did not stop signal transmission in July 2019 but switched to non-standard codes and codes beyond the tracking capabilities of commercial GNSS receivers. Prior to this hibernation mode, a 70 days test without broadcast ephemeris update was conducted during which the user range error increased to roughly 1 km.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/134969/
Document Type:Article
Title:GPS III Vespucci: Results of half a year in orbit
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Steigenberger, PeterDLR/GSOChttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1905-6699UNSPECIFIED
Thoelert, SteffenIKNhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4653-318XUNSPECIFIED
Montenbruck, OliverDLR/GSOChttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4783-745XUNSPECIFIED
Date:4 April 2020
Journal or Publication Title:Advances in Space Research
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 2773-2785
Keywords:GNSS; Global Positioning System; GPS III; solar radiation pressure modeling; box-wing model; satellite antenna phase center offsets
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space System Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Space System Technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Infrastruktur und Unterstützung für Raumflugbetrieb (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training
Space Operations and Astronaut Training > Space Flight Technology
Institute of Communication and Navigation
Institute of Communication and Navigation > Navigation
Deposited By: Steigenberger, Peter
Deposited On:18 May 2020 10:25
Last Modified:23 Oct 2023 13:18

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