This paper describes a carrier-phase differential GPS approach for real-time relative navigation of LEO satellites flying in formation with large separations. These applications are characterized indeed by a highly varying number of GPS satellites in common view and large ionospheric differential errors, which significantly impact relative navigation performance and robustness. To achieve high relative positioning accuracy a navigation algorithm is proposed which processes double-difference code and carrier measurements on two frequencies, to fully exploit the integer nature of the related ambiguities. Specifically, a closed-loop scheme is proposed in which fixed estimates of the baseline and integer ambiguities produced by means of a partial integer fixing step are fed back to an Extended Kalman Filter for improving the float estimate at successive time instants. The approach also benefits from the inclusion in the filter state of the differential ionospheric delay in terms of the Vertical Total Electron Content of each satellite. The navigation algorithm performance is tested on actual flight data from GRACE mission. Results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach in managing integer unknowns in conjunction with Extended Kalman Filtering, and that centimeter-level accuracy can be achieved in real-time also with large separations. (c) 2013 IAA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Validation on flight data of a closed-loop approach for GPS-based relative navigation of LEO satellites

;
2013

Abstract

This paper describes a carrier-phase differential GPS approach for real-time relative navigation of LEO satellites flying in formation with large separations. These applications are characterized indeed by a highly varying number of GPS satellites in common view and large ionospheric differential errors, which significantly impact relative navigation performance and robustness. To achieve high relative positioning accuracy a navigation algorithm is proposed which processes double-difference code and carrier measurements on two frequencies, to fully exploit the integer nature of the related ambiguities. Specifically, a closed-loop scheme is proposed in which fixed estimates of the baseline and integer ambiguities produced by means of a partial integer fixing step are fed back to an Extended Kalman Filter for improving the float estimate at successive time instants. The approach also benefits from the inclusion in the filter state of the differential ionospheric delay in terms of the Vertical Total Electron Content of each satellite. The navigation algorithm performance is tested on actual flight data from GRACE mission. Results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach in managing integer unknowns in conjunction with Extended Kalman Filtering, and that centimeter-level accuracy can be achieved in real-time also with large separations. (c) 2013 IAA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/17332
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