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Epochwise prediction of GPS single differenced ionospheric delays of formation flying spacecraft

van Barneveld, Luuk and Visser, Pieter and Montenbruck, Oliver (2009) Epochwise prediction of GPS single differenced ionospheric delays of formation flying spacecraft. Aerospace Science and Technology, 44 (9), pp. 987-1001. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2009.07.006 ISSN 1270-9638

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Both single and dual frequency GPS relative navigation filters may benefit from proper predictions of single differenced ionospheric delays. In this article, the single differenced ionospheric delays of GPS observations are predicted for the GRACE formation during the switch manoeuvre. Two prediction methods are considered. The first is based on a Taylor expansion to first order of a mapping function that maps slant total electron content measurements to vertical total electron content estimates. The second method fits a shape profile through undifferenced ionospheric data available. It then raytraces through this profile to estimate the difference in total electron content along the path of the GPS signals. Continuously changing ionospheric conditions hamper the assessment of the quality of the predictions. Comparison of both methods shows that the raytracing method performs better. The difference of predictions and measurements generally shows a smaller RMS than the measurements alone. However, both methods suffer from a number of systematically unpredicted observations, which arise from small unaccounted differential variations in electron densities along the path of the GPS signals. These prediction methods perform better when spacecraft separation is small. Baselines considered here range from tens of kilometres down to several hundred metres. When smallest spacecraft separation occurs (0.4 km), the single differenced ionospheric delays exhibit RMS values of 0.0089 m. The first method shows a difference between measurements and predictions with an RMS of 0.0081 m. For the second method the difference RMS is found to be 0.0067 m.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/82088/
Document Type:Article
Title:Epochwise prediction of GPS single differenced ionospheric delays of formation flying spacecraft
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
van Barneveld, LuukTU DelftUNSPECIFIED
Visser, PieterTU DelftUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Aerospace Science and Technology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1016/j.asr.2009.07.006
Page Range:pp. 987-1001
Keywords:DGPS, formation flying, ionosphere
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W - no assignment
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W - no assignment
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - no assignment (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training
Deposited By: Montenbruck, Dr.rer.nat.hab. Oliver
Deposited On:26 Apr 2013 15:21
Last Modified:26 Apr 2013 15:21

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