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On measurement noise in the European TWSTFT network

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5 Author(s)
Piester, D. ; Phys.-Tech. Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig ; Bauch, A. ; Becker, J. ; Staliuniene, E.
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Two-way satellite time and frequency transfer (TWSTFT) using geostationary telecommunication satellites is widely used in the timing community today and has also been chosen as the primary means to effect synchronization of elements of the ground segment of the European satellite navigation system Galileo. We investigated the link performance in a multistation network based on operational parameters such as the number of simultaneously transmitting stations, transmit and receive power, and chip rates of the pseudorandom noise modulation of the transmitted signals. Our work revealed that TWSTFT through a "quiet" transponder channel (2 stations transmitting only) leads to a measurement noise, expressed by the 1 pps jitter, reduced by a factor of 1.4 compared with a busy transponder carrying signals of 12 stations. The frequency transfer capability expressed by the Allan deviation is reduced at short averaging times by the same amount. At averaging times of >1 d, no such reduction could be observed, which points to the fact that other noise sources dominate at such averaging times. We also found that higher transmit power increases the carrier-to-noise density ratio at the receive station and thus entails lower jitter but causes interference with other station's signals. In addition, the use of lower chip rates, which could be accommodated by a reduced assigned bandwidth on the satellite transponder, is not recommended. The 1 pps jitter would go up by a factor of 2.5 when going from 2.5 MCh/s to 1 MCh/s. The 2 Galileo precise timing facilities (PTFs) can be included in the currently operated network of 12 stations in Europe and all requirements on the TWSTFT performance can be met, provided that suitable ground equipment will be installed in the Galileo ground segment.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 9 )