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Autonomous Navigation with Ground-to-Space Doppler Measurements Referenced to a Temperature-Compensated Crystal OscillatorThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has spent several years developing operational Onboard Navigation Systems (ONS's) to provide real-time autonomous, high-accuracy navigation products for spacecraft using NASA's space and ground communication systems. The highly successful Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) ONS (TONS) experiment on the Explorer Platform/Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EP/EUVE) spacecraft, launched June 7, 1992, flight-demonstrated the ONS for high-accuracy navigation using TDRSS forward- link communications services, In late 1994, the ground station ONS (GONS) experiment, using the same EP/EUVE flight hardware, flight-demonstrated the feasibility of high-accuracy autonomous navigation using ground station forward-link communication services, with an ultrastable oscillator (USO) as the frequency reference (1 part in 10(exp 10) over 24 hours). This paper provides a follow-on analysis of GONS performance to assess the navigation accuracy achievable if GONS uses the significantly less stable (5 parts in 10(exp 8) over 24 hours, compared with a specification of 1 part in 10(exp 6)) Temperature-Compensated Crystal Oscillator (TCXO), which is integral to the transponder, as a frequency reference rather than an external USO. The GONS TCXO experiment results from a 20-day period are used to project the expected performance of an operational system. The GONS processes Doppler data derived from nominally scheduled ground station forward-link communication services using a sequential estimation algorithm enhanced by a sophisticated process noise model to provide onboard orbit and frequency determination. To evaluate the navigation accuracies achievable if a TCXO were used, actual experiment data (which used the USO as the frequency reference) were corrupted with errors from real TDRSS one-way return tracking measurements taken from EP/EUVE's TCXO. Analysis of the GONS TCXO experiment performance indicates that real-time onboard position accuracies of better than 300 meters (1 sigma) are achievable with as few as two tracking contacts per day for the EP/EUVE 525-kilometer altitude, 28.5-degree inclination orbit, provided the TCXO is as stable as that in EP/EUVE's TDRSS transponder. GONS using a TCXO frequency reference provides a viable option for many upcoming spacecraft missions with moderate position accuracy requirements and an interest in reducing their operational costs with autonomous navigation.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Radomski, M. S.
(Computer Sciences Corp. Lanham, MD United States)
Gramling, C. J.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
September 8, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1997
Publication Information
Publication: Flight Mechanics Symposium 1997
Subject Category
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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