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Next generation GPS-aided space navigation systems

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1 Author(s)
Cecchini, J. ; Honeywell Space Syst., Warner Robins, GA, USA

The next generation of low cost Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers for space navigation and attitude determination are positioned to take full advantage of the improvements made in the commercial GPS receivers used for terrestrial applications. There have been recent improvements made to the GPS receivers that include the addition of extra GPS satellite channels that can be tracked simultaneously. The older style GPS receivers were only able to handle five channels at a time. In order for proper determination of three-dimensional position, a minimum of four channels was required and the fifth channel of the receiver was reserved to perform search functions for finding the next satellite. This included searching for satellites that could be used to replace exiting satellites moving out of the Field of View (FOV). The search function also enables the GPS receiver to search for the best constellation for maximum performance accuracy. The fifth roaming channel also provided a best next-satellite selection capability in case the field of view to one of the satellites was blocked or shaded.

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 12 )