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Precision spacecraft navigation using a low-cost GPS receiver

Montenbruck, Oliver and Swatschina, Paul and Markgraf, Markus and Santandrea, Stefano and Naudet, Joris and Tilmans, Etienne (2012) Precision spacecraft navigation using a low-cost GPS receiver. GPS Solutions, 16 (4), pp. 519-529. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/s10291-011-0252-6 ISSN 1080-5370

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10291-011-0252-6


Within the PROBA-2 microsatellite mission, a miniaturized single-frequency GPS receiver based on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology is employed for onboard navigation and timing. A rapid electronic fuse protects against destructive single-event latch-ups (SEL) and enables a quasi-continuous receiver operation despite the inherent sensitivity to space radiation. While limited to single-frequency C/A-code tracking with a narrow-band frontend, the receiver is able to provide precision navigation services through processing of raw GPS measurements on ground as well as a built-in real-time navigation system. In both cases, ionospheric path delays are eliminated through a combination of L1 pseudorange and carrier phase measurements, which also offers a factor-of-two noise reduction relative to code-only processing. By comparison with satellite laser ranging (SLR) measurements, a 0.3-m (3D rms) accuracy is demonstrated for the PROBA-2 reduced dynamic orbit determinations using post-processed GPS orbit and clock products. Furthermore, the experimental onboard navigation system is shown to provide real-time position information with a 3D rms accuracy of about 1 m, which notably outperforms the specification of the Standard Positioning Service (SPS). In view of their lower hardware complexity, mass budget and power requirements as well as the reduced interference susceptibility, legacy C/A-code receivers can thus provide an attractive alternative to dual-frequency receivers even for demanding navigation applications in low Earth orbit.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/73961/
Document Type:Article
Title:Precision spacecraft navigation using a low-cost GPS receiver
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Naudet, JorisQuinetiq SpaceUNSPECIFIED
Tilmans, EtienneESA/ReduUNSPECIFIED
Date:5 January 2012
Journal or Publication Title:GPS Solutions
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1007/s10291-011-0252-6
Page Range:pp. 519-529
Keywords:Orbit determination – Real-time navigation – Satellite laser ranging – Single-frequency GPS – GRAPHIC – COTS – SEL – PROBA-2 – Phoenix-XNS
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:other
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R - no assignment
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - no assignment
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training
Deposited By: Montenbruck, Dr.rer.nat.hab. Oliver
Deposited On:23 Jan 2012 12:39
Last Modified:04 Apr 2013 16:34

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