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Alternative Space-based PNT Data Layer

In the last years, there has been fast progress in satellite on-board computing achieved by the satellite telecommunication industry. On-board processors are more performant, with less mass, volume and power consumption. As regards current and evolving space-based PNT data layer services (e.g. private or public GNSS data augmentations), they usually retransmit data computed on-ground via…

Multi-Sensor, Multi-System for Space PNT Applications

Position uncertainty during autonomous manoeuvres such as orbit-raising/de-orbiting requires that the local knowledge during low thrust (i.e. with electric propulsion) is accurately determined. Current orbit-raising assumes semi-autonomous control assisted by GNSS, with a long time integral to measure increasing altitude and trajectory of the satellite. The use of a hybrid GNSS unit that…

Earth-Moon Navigation / System Study and Development of a Highly-Sensitive Spaceborne Receiver Prototype

GPS has been used in space for more than 20 years and currently it is consistently used in LEO orbit satellites in order to provide position, velocity and time information. Extension of its use to higher altitude missions has been the subject of multiple studies, GEO and GTO orbits currently exploit GNSS signals and the NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission has recently demonstrated that…

Ultra-Low Power Device Positioning Concepts

There are an increasing number of IoT applications, and projections show that global Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) connections will increase by almost one order of magnitude in the next five years. Terrestrial networks are continuously targeting evolutions of the IoT markets. For example, the latest release of 3GPP standards has introduced modifications to their standard (e.g. NB-IoT) to comply with…

GNSS/non-GNSS Sensor Fusion for Resilience in High Integrity Aviation Applications

GNSS technology has demonstrated its capability to provide very good performance in Europe up to LPV 200 based on GPS L1 (single frequency, single constellation) and is expected to reach CAT I Autoland with the future DFMC mode (Dual Frequency, Multi Constellations – GPS & GAL). It is very challenging to improve this performance, more specifically the 6-second Time To Alert (TTA) that seems…

Feasibility study of a space-based relativistic PNT system

All GNSS in operation at present are based on Newtonian physics and rely on global reference frames fixed to Earth. Relativistic effects are treated as deviations that need to be corrected for. Precision and stability over time of the reference frames is provided via ground stations and they are limited by the Earth’s dynamics (e.g. variations of the Earth’s rotation rate, plate tectonics,…

PNT using Neutrino Particles

This proposed activity represents an innovative concept to realise Positioning, Navigation and Timing using neutrino particles. At present, standard navigation approaches – including satellite navigation – rely on direct line-of-sight RF and optical communications. Neutrinos move at around the speed of light, have no electric charge and are low mass, thus showing very low interaction with…

Enabling Ultra-High Accuracy Positioning in Challenging Environment

The need for high accuracy PNT in challenging environments has become obvious and, henceforth, mandatory for many applications. Currently, an accuracy target of 1 m in an urban environment seems a realistic achievement with multi-GNSS PPP or RTK capabilities. A significant R&D effort is ongoing to reach this target in operational products, using carrier phase positioning (PPP and RTK) and European…

Precise Relative Positioning in MEO to support Science Missions

Precise relative positioning in MEO (Medium Earth Orbit, at altitudes ranging between 2,000 and 36,000 km) exploiting GNSS is a subject that has been little explored while having high potential for enabling an interesting set of applications based on space-to-space interferometry. Establishing accurate inter-satellite baselines based on GNSS measurements would open the door to new missions at…

Low-cost multi-frequency multi-constellation GNSS antenna for CubeSats

Satellites flying in LEO are relying more and more on Precise Orbit Determination (POD) through GNSS and in particular the computation of real time on-board POD with accuracy at centimetre level. Receivers for in-orbit demonstration of Precise Point Positioning (PPP) currently under development under NAVISP (NAVISP-EL1-009: ‘Space GNSS Receiver for Un-Orbit Demonstration of PPP’) and the…