Geosynchronous satellites expanding a future GNSS satellite constellation: A precise orbit determination study

Stefan Marz, Anja Schlicht, Urs Hugentobler

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung

2 Zitate (Scopus)


The integration of geosynchronous orbit (GSO) satellites in Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is mostly discussed to enable a regional enhancement for tracking. But how do GSO satellites affect the orbit determination of the rest of the constellation? How accurately can these orbits be determined in a future GNSS tracking scenario with optical links? In this simulation study we analyze the benefit of GSO satellites as an expansion of a MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) satellite constellation – we selected the Galileo satellite constellation – for MEO Precise Orbit Determination (POD). We address not only the impact on POD of MEO satellites but also the possibility to precisely determine the GSO satellites – geostationary orbits (GEO) and inclined geosynchronous orbits (IGSO) – in such an expanded MEO constellation. In addition to GNSS microwave observations, we analyze the influence of different optical links between the participating entities: Optical two-way Inter-Satellite Links (OISL) and ground-space oriented Optical Two-Way Links (OTWL). These optical measurements together with the GNSS microwave observations give a remarkable benefit for the POD capability. In the case of GNSS and OTWL, we simulate the measurements with regard to a network of 16 ground stations. We pay great attention to the simulation of systematic effects of all measurement techniques. We discuss the influence on the systematic errors as well as the formal orbit uncertainties. A MEO constellation expanded with GSO satellites as well as the use of optical links together with GNSS observations not only improves the MEO satellite orbits but also the GSOs to a great extent.

Seiten (von - bis)624-644
FachzeitschriftAdvances in Space Research
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Jan. 2023


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