GPS-based tracking system for TOPEX orbit determinationA tracking system concept is discussed that is based on the utilization of the constellation of Navstar satellites in the Global Positioning System (GPS). The concept involves simultaneous and continuous metric tracking of the signals from all visible Navstar satellites by approximately six globally distributed ground terminals and by the TOPEX spacecraft at 1300-km altitude. Error studies indicate that this system could be capable of obtaining decimeter position accuracies and, most importantly, around 5 cm in the radial component which is key to exploiting the full accuracy potential of the altimetric measurements for ocean topography. Topics covered include: background of the GPS, the precision mode for utilization of the system, past JPL research for using the GPS in precision applications, the present tracking system concept for high accuracy satellite positioning, and results from a proof-of-concept demonstration.
Melbourne, W. G. (California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, United States)
August 12, 2013
January 1, 1984
SPACE COMMUNICATIONS, SPACECRAFT COMMUNICATIONS, COMMAND AND TRACKING