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Concept: Geosynchronous orbit


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


BACKGROUND: Microarrays have become a routine tool to address diverse biological questions. Therefore, different types and generations of microarrays have been produced by several manufacturers over time. Likewise, the diversity of raw data deposited in public databases such as NCBI GEO or EBI ArrayExpress has grown enormously.This has resulted in databases currently containing several hundred thousand microarray samples clustered by different species, manufacturers and chip generations. While one of the original goals of these databases was to make the data available to other researchers for independent analysis and, where appropriate, integration with their own data, current software implementations could not provide that feature.Only those data sets generated on the same chip platform can be readily combined and even here there are batch effects to be taken care of. A straightforward approach to deal with multiple chip types and batch effects has been missing.The software presented here was designed to solve both of these problems in a convenient and user friendly way. RESULTS: The virtualArray software package can combine raw data sets using almost any chip types based on current annotations from NCBI GEO or Bioconductor. After establishing congruent annotations for the raw data, virtualArray can then directly employ one of seven implemented methods to adjust for batch effects in the data resulting from differences between the chip types used. Both steps can be tuned to the preferences of the user. When the run is finished, the whole dataset is presented as a conventional Bioconductor “ExpressionSet” object, which can be used as input to other Bioconductor packages. CONCLUSIONS: Using this software package, researchers can easily integrate their own microarray data with data from public repositories or other sources that are based on different microarray chip types. Using the default approach a robust and up-to-date batch effect correction technique is applied to the data.

Concepts: Data set, DNA microarray, Microarray, Microarrays, Raw image format, Bioconductor, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit


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


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


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


During the process of land-atmosphere interaction, one of the essential parameters is the land surface temperature (LST). The LST has high temporal variability, especially in its diurnal cycle, which cannot be acquired by polar-orbiting satellites. Therefore, it is of great practical significance to retrieve LST data using geostationary satellites. According to the data of FengYun 2C (FY-2C) satellite and the measurements from the Enhanced Observing Period (CEOP) of the Asia-Australia Monsoon Project (CAMP) on the Tibetan Plateau (CAMP/Tibet), a regression approach was utilized in this research to optimize the split window algorithm (SWA). The thermal infrared data obtained by the Chinese geostationary satellite FY-2C over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) was used to estimate the hourly LST time series. To decrease the effects of cloud, the 10-day composite hourly LST data were obtained through the approach of maximal value composite (MVC). The derived LST was used to compare with the product of MODIS LST and was also validated by the field observation. The results show that the LST retrieved through the optimized SWA and in situ data has a better consistency (with correlation coefficient ®, mean absolute error (MAE), mean bias (MB), and root mean square error (RMSE) values of 0.987, 1.91 K, 0.83 K and 2.26 K, respectively) than that derived from Becker and Li’s SWA and MODIS LST product, which means that the modified SWA can be applied to achieve plateau-scale LST. The diurnal variation of the LST and the hourly time series of the LST over the Tibetan Plateau were also obtained. The diurnal range of LST was found to be clearly affected by the influence of the thawing and freezing process of soil and the summer monsoon evolution. The comparison between the seasonal and diurnal variations of LST at four typical underlying surfaces over the TP indicate that the variation of LST is closely connected with the underlying surface types as well. The diurnal variation of LST is the smallest at the water (5.12 K), second at the snow and ice (5.45 K), third at the grasslands (19.82 K) and largest at the barren or sparsely vegetated (22.83 K).

Concepts: Statistics, Root mean square, Mean squared error, Root mean square deviation, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Satellites, Geosynchronous satellite


An optical communication link performance between the ground and a geostationary satellite can be impaired by scintillation, beam wandering, and beam spreading due to its propagation through atmospheric turbulence. These effects on the link performance can be mitigated by tracking and error correction codes coupled with interleaving. Precise numerical tools capable of describing the irradiance fluctuations statistically and of creating an irradiance time series are needed to characterize the benefits of these techniques and optimize them. The wave optics propagation methods have proven their capability of modeling the effects of atmospheric turbulence on a beam, but these are known to be computationally intensive. We present an analytical-numerical model which provides good results on the probability density functions of irradiance fluctuations as well as a time series with an important saving of time and computational resources.

Concepts: Statistics, Mathematics, Optics, Fundamental physics concepts, Light, Probability density function, Error detection and correction, Geosynchronous orbit


Analysis of cloud cover and its diurnal variation over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is highly reliant on satellite data; however, the accuracy of cloud detection from both polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites over this area remains unclear. The new-generation geostationary Himawari-8 satellites provide high-resolution spatial and temporal information about clouds over the Tibetan Plateau. In this study, the cloud detection of MODIS and AHI is investigated and validated against CALIPSO measurements. For AHI and MODIS, the false alarm rate of AHI and MODIS in cloud identification over the TP was 7.51% and 1.94%, respectively, and the cloud hit rate was 73.55% and 80.15%, respectively. Using hourly cloud-cover data from the Himawari-8 satellites, we found that at the monthly scale, the diurnal cycle in cloud cover over the TP tends to increase throughout the day, with the minimum and maximum cloud fractions occurring at 10:00 a.m. and 18:00 p.m. local time. Due to the limited time resolution of polar-orbiting satellites, the underestimation of MODIS daytime average cloud cover is approximately 4.00% at the annual scale, with larger biases during the spring (5.40%) and winter (5.90%).

Concepts: Time, Circadian rhythm, Diurnal temperature variation, Clouds, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Satellites, Geosynchronous satellite


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


In 2015, the plan for global coverage by the Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite System was launched. Five global BeiDou experimental satellites (BeiDou-3e) are in orbit for testing. To analyze the performances of precise orbit determination (POD) and precise point positioning (PPP) of onboard BeiDou satellites, about two months of data from 24 tracking stations were used. According to quality analysis of BeiDou-2/BeiDou-3e data, there is no satellite-induced code bias in BeiDou-3e satellites, which has been found in BeiDou-2 satellites. This phenomenon indicates that the quality issues of pseudorange data in BeiDou satellites have been solved well. POD results indicate that the BeiDou-3e orbit precision is comparable to that of BeiDou-2 satellites. The ambiguity fixed solution improved the orbit consistency of inclined geosynchronous orbit satellites in along-track and cross-track directions, but had little effect in the radial direction. Satellite laser ranging of BeiDou-3e medium Earth orbit satellites (MEOs) achieved a standard deviation of about 4 cm. Differences in clock offset series after the removal of reference clock in overlapping arcs were used to assess clock quality, and standard deviation of clock offset could reach 0.18 ns on average, which was in agreement with the orbit precision. For static PPP, when BeiDou-3e satellites were included, the positioning performance for horizontal components was improved slightly. For kinematic PPP, when global positioning satellites (GPS) were combined with BeiDou-2 and BeiDou-3e satellites, the convergence time was 13.5 min with a precision of 2-3 cm for horizontal components, and 3-4 cm for the vertical component.

Concepts: Navigation, Global Positioning System, Global navigation satellite system, Geodesy, Satellite, Atomic clock, Geosynchronous orbit, Satellites