SciCombinator

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Concept: Communications satellite

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The Chinese BeiDou system (BDS), having different types of satellites, is an important addition to the ever growing system of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). It consists of Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites, Inclined Geosynchronous Satellite Orbit (IGSO) satellites and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites. This paper investigates the receiver-dependent bias between these satellite types, for which we coined the name “inter-satellite-type bias” (ISTB), and its impact on mixed receiver attitude determination. Assuming different receiver types may have different delays/biases for different satellite types, we model the differential ISTBs among three BeiDou satellite types and investigate their existence and their impact on mixed receiver attitude determination. Our analyses using the real data sets from Curtin’s GNSS array consisting of different types of BeiDou enabled receivers and series of zero-baseline experiments with BeiDou-enabled receivers reveal the existence of non-zero ISTBs between different BeiDou satellite types. We then analyse the impact of these biases on BeiDou-only attitude determination using the constrained (C-)LAMBDA method, which exploits the knowledge of baseline length. Results demonstrate that these biases could seriously affect the integer ambiguity resolution for attitude determination using mixed receiver types and that a priori correction of these biases will dramatically improve the success rate.

Concepts: Communications satellite, Global navigation satellite system, Satellite, Satellite navigation systems, Low Earth orbit, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Earth orbits

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For GPS medium-long baseline real-time kinematic (RTK) positioning, the troposphere parameter is introduced along with coordinates, and the model is ill-conditioned due to its strong correlation with the height parameter. For BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), additional difficulties occur due to its special satellite constellation. In fact, relative zenith troposphere delay (RZTD) derived from high-precision empirical zenith troposphere models can be introduced. Thus, the model strength can be improved, which is also called the RZTD-constrained RTK model. In this contribution, we first analyze the factors affecting the precision of BDS medium-long baseline RTK; thereafter, 15 baselines ranging from 38 km to 167 km in different troposphere conditions are processed to assess the performance of RZTD-constrained RTK. Results show that the troposphere parameter is difficult to distinguish from the height component, even with long time filtering for BDS-only RTK. Due to the lack of variation in geometry for the BDS geostationary Earth orbit satellite, the long convergence time of ambiguity parameters may reduce the height precision of GPS/BDS-combined RTK in the initial period. When the RZTD-constrained model was used in BDS and GPS/BDS-combined situations compared with the traditional RTK, the standard deviation of the height component for the fixed solution was reduced by 52.4% and 34.0%, respectively.

Concepts: Navigation, Global Positioning System, Communications satellite, Geodesy, Satellite, Low Earth orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Arthur C. Clarke

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The orbital maneuvers of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Constellations will decrease the performance and accuracy of positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT). Because satellites in the Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) are in Geostationary Orbit (GEO) and Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO), maneuvers occur more frequently. Also, the precise start moment of the BDS satellites' orbit maneuvering cannot be obtained by common users. This paper presented an improved real-time detecting method for BDS satellites' orbit maneuvering and anomalies with higher timeliness and higher accuracy. The main contributions to this improvement are as follows: (1) instead of the previous two-steps method, a new one-step method with higher accuracy is proposed to determine the start moment and the pseudo random noise code (PRN) of the satellite orbit maneuvering in that time; (2) BDS Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) orbital maneuvers are firstly detected according to the proposed selection strategy for the stations; and (3) the classified non-maneuvering anomalies are detected by a new median robust method using the weak anomaly detection factor and the strong anomaly detection factor. The data from the Multi-GNSS Experiment (MGEX) in 2017 was used for experimental analysis. The experimental results and analysis showed that the start moment of orbital maneuvers and the period of non-maneuver anomalies can be determined more accurately in real-time. When orbital maneuvers and anomalies occur, the proposed method improved the data utilization for 91 and 95 min in 2017.

Concepts: Communications satellite, Satellite, Low Earth orbit, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Earth orbits, Synchronous orbit

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The current constellation of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) consists of five geostationary earth orbit (GEO) satellites, five inclined geosynchronous satellite orbit (IGSO) satellites, and four medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites. The advantage of using GEO satellites to monitor the ionosphereis the almost motionless ionospheric pierce point (IPP), which is analyzed in comparison with the MEO and IGSO satellites. The results from the analysis of the observations using eight tracking sites indicate that the ionospheric total electron content (TEC) sequence derived from each GEO satellite at their respective fixed IPPs is always continuous. The precision of calculated vertical TEC (VTEC) using BDS B1/B2, B1/B3, and B2/B3 dual-frequency combinationsis compared and analyzed. The VTEC12precision based on the B1/B2 dual-frequency measurements using the smoothed code and the raw code combination is 0.69 and 5.54 TECU, respectively, which is slightly higher than VTEC13and much higher than VTEC23. Furthermore, the ionospheric monitoring results of site JFNG in the northern hemisphere, and CUT0 in the southern hemisphere during the period from 1 January to 31 December 2015 are presented and discussed briefly.

Concepts: Communications satellite, Satellite, Low Earth orbit, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Earth orbits, Geosynchronous satellite, Synchronous orbit

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Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) carrier phase measurement for short baseline meets the requirements of deformation monitoring of large structures. However, the carrier phase multipath effect is the main error source with double difference (DD) processing. There are lots of methods to deal with the multipath errors of Global Position System (GPS) carrier phase data. The BeiDou navigation satellite System (BDS) multipath mitigation is still a research hotspot because the unique constellation design of BDS makes it different to mitigate multipath effects compared to GPS. Multipath error periodically repeats for its strong correlation to geometry of satellites, reflective surface and antenna which is also repetitive. We analyzed the characteristics of orbital periods of BDS satellites which are consistent with multipath repeat periods of corresponding satellites. The results show that the orbital periods and multipath periods for BDS geostationary earth orbit (GEO) and inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO) satellites are about one day but the periods of MEO satellites are about seven days. The Kalman filter (KF) and Rauch-Tung-Striebel Smoother (RTSS) was introduced to extract the multipath models from single difference (SD) residuals with traditional sidereal filter (SF). Wavelet filter and Empirical mode decomposition (EMD) were also used to mitigate multipath effects. The experimental results show that the three filters methods all have obvious effect on improvement of baseline accuracy and the performance of KT-RTSS method is slightly better than that of wavelet filter and EMD filter. The baseline vector accuracy on east, north and up (E, N, U) components with KF-RTSS method were improved by 62.8%, 63.6%, 62.5% on day of year 280 and 57.3%, 53.4%, 55.9% on day of year 281, respectively.

Concepts: Global Positioning System, Communications satellite, Geodesy, Satellite, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Earth orbits, Geosynchronous satellite

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The frequent maneuvering of BeiDou Geostationary Orbit (GEO) and Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO) satellites affects the availability of real-time orbit, and decreases the accuracy and performance of positioning, navigation and time (PNT) services. BeiDou satellite maneuver information cannot be obtained by common users. BeiDou broadcast ephemeris is the only indicator of the health status of satellites, which are broadcast on an hourly basis, easily leading to ineffective observations. Sometimes, identification errors of satellite abnormity also appear in the broadcast ephemeris. This study presents a real-time robust detection method for a satellite orbital maneuver with high frequency and high reliability. By using the broadcast ephemeris and pseudo-range observations, the time discrimination factor and the satellite identification factor were defined and used for the real-time detection of start time and the pseudo-random noise code (PRN) of satellites was used for orbital maneuvers. Data from a Multi-GNSS Experiment (MGEX) was collected and analyzed. The results show that the start time and the PRN of the satellite orbital maneuver could be detected accurately in real time. In addition, abnormal start times and satellite abnormities caused by non-maneuver factors also could be detected using the proposed method. The new method not only improves the utilization of observations for users with the data effective for about 92 min, but also promotes the reliability of real-time PNT services.

Concepts: Communications satellite, Satellite, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Geosynchronous satellite, Synchronous orbit, Astrodynamics

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This study validated and investigated elevation- and frequency-dependent systematic biases observed in ground-based code measurements of the Chinese BeiDou navigation satellite system, using the onboard BeiDou code measurement data from the Chinese meteorological satellite Fengyun-3C. Particularly for geostationary earth orbit satellites, sky-view coverage can be achieved over the entire elevation and azimuth angle ranges with the available onboard tracking data, which is more favorable to modeling code biases. Apart from the BeiDou-satellite-induced biases, the onboard BeiDou code multipath effects also indicate pronounced near-field systematic biases that depend only on signal frequency and the line-of-sight directions. To correct these biases, we developed a proposed code correction model by estimating the BeiDou-satellite-induced biases as linear piece-wise functions in different satellite groups and the near-field systematic biases in a grid approach. To validate the code bias model, we carried out orbit determination using single-frequency BeiDou data with and without code bias corrections applied. Orbit precision statistics indicate that those code biases can seriously degrade single-frequency orbit determination. After the correction model was applied, the orbit position errors, 3D root mean square, were reduced from 150.6 to 56.3 cm.

Concepts: Scientific method, Root mean square, Communications satellite, Satellite, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Satellites, Geosynchronous satellite

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Binary phase-shift keying optical transmission in the C-band with coherent intradyne reception is demonstrated over a long-range (10.45 km) link through the atmosphere. The link emulates representative channel conditions for geostationary optical feeder uplinks in satellite communications. The digital signal processing used in recovering the transmitted data and the performed measurements are described. Finally, the bit error rate results for 10 Gbit/s, 20 Gbit/s, and 30 Gbit/s of the outdoor experiments are presented and compared with back-to-back measurements and theory.

Concepts: Measurement, Greek loanwords, Planet, Signal processing, Atmosphere, Digital signal processing, Data transmission, Communications satellite

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Beyond their important economic role in commercial communications, satellites in general are critical infrastructure because of the services they provide. In addition to satellites providing information which facilitates a better understanding of the space environment and improved performance of physics experiments, satellite observations are also used to actively monitor weather, geological processes, agricultural development and the evolution of natural and man-made hazards. Defence agencies depend on satellite services for communication in remote locations, as well as for reconnaissance and intelligence. Both commercial and government users rely on communication satellites to provide communication in the event of a disaster that damages ground-based communication systems, provide news, education and entertainment to remote areas and connect global businesses. The space radiation environment is an hazard to most satellite missions and can lead to extremely difficult operating conditions for all of the equipment travelling in space. Here, we first provide an overview of the main components of space radiation environment, followed by a description of the basic mechanism of the interaction of radiation with matter. This is followed by an introduction to the space radiation hardness assurance problem and the main effects of natural radiation to the microelectronics (total ionizing dose, displacement damage and the single-event effect and a description of how different effects occurring in the space can be tested in on-ground experiments by using particle accelerators and radiation sources. We also discuss standards and the recommended procedures to obtain reliable results.

Concepts: Ionizing radiation, Sievert, Communications satellite, Radiation poisoning, Background radiation, Gray, Satellite, Geosynchronous orbit

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An analytical solar radiation pressure (SRP) model, IGGBSPM (an abbreviation for Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics BeiDou Solar Pressure Model), has been developed for three BeiDou satellite types, namely, geostationary orbit (GEO), inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO) and medium earth orbit (MEO), based on a ray-tracing method. The performance of IGGBSPM was assessed based on numerical integration, SLR residuals and analyses of empirical SRP parameters (except overlap computations). The numerical results show that the integrated orbit resulting from IGGBSPM differs from the precise ephemerides by approximately 5 m and 2 m for GEO and non-GEO satellites, respectively. Moreover, when IGGBSPM is used as an a priori model to enhance the ECOM (5-parameter) model with stochastic pulses, named ECOM + APR, for precise orbit determination, the SLR RMS residual improves by approximately 20-25 percent over the ECOM-only solution during the yaw-steering period and by approximately 40 percent during the yaw-fixed period. For the BeiDou GEO01 satellite, improvements of 18 and 32 percent can be achieved during the out-of-eclipse season and during the eclipse season, respectively. An investigation of the estimated ECOM D0 parameters indicated that the β-angle dependence that is evident in the ECOM-only solution is no longer present in the ECOM + APR solution.

Concepts: Communications satellite, Satellite, Low Earth orbit, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Earth orbits, Geosynchronous satellite, Synchronous orbit