Navigation services from large constellations in low earth orbit
Giovanni B. Palmerini, Prakriti Kapilavaidownload PDF
Abstract. Very large satellite constellations in Low Earth Orbits (LEO) devoted to data broadcast could also help in providing navigation services. Lacking a specific payload onboard, the downlink can be exploited as a signal of opportunity, as an example looking at the carrier’s Doppler shift. The number of sources and the short distance to users, enabling indoor positioning, are significant advantages of this option. However, recent studies confirmed that commercially-oriented designs partly miss the advantage on the number of sources by directing just one or two beams at a given time to any area on the Earth: it is enough for communication services, it is not for navigation when several signals need to be received by the user at the same time. Looking at a possible service combining downlinks from more than one system to achieve the requested minimum of four signals, this work focusses on the dilution of precision proper to the novel concept. Therefore, the paper updates previous studies – concerning the effects of the orbital configuration of a single LEO system – extending the results to the new scenario.
Global Navigation Satellite Systems, Large Constellation Design, Dilution of Precision (DOP), Doppler Observable
Published online 11/1/2023, 5 pages
Copyright © 2023 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA
Citation: Giovanni B. Palmerini, Prakriti Kapilavai, Navigation services from large constellations in low earth orbit, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 37, pp 108-112, 2023
The article was published as article 24 of the book Aeronautics and Astronautics
Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
 E.D. Kaplan, C.J. Hegarthy, Understanding GPS Principles and Applications, 2nd ed., Artech House, Norwood (MA, USA), 2006.
 T.G.R. Reid et al. (part 1), and Z.M. Kassas (part 2), Navigation from Low Earth Orbit, in: J. Morton, F. van Diggelen, J. Spilker, Jr., B. Parkinson (Eds.), Position, Navigation, and Timing Technologies in the 21st Century: Integrated Satellite Navigation, Sensor Systems, and Civil Applications, Volume 2, Wiley–IEEE, 2021, pp. 1359 ff.
 T. Reid, Commercial Satnav from LEO, Inside GNSS, May 2022.
 J.J. Khalife, Z.M. Kassas, Receiver Design for Doppler Positioning with Leo Satellites, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), 2019. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICASSP.2019.8682554
 G.B. Palmerini, P. Kapilavai, Navigation Services from LEO Constellations, paper IAC-22-B2.7.8, 73rd International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Paris, France, 18-22 September 2022.
 G.B. Palmerini, P. Kapilavai, Orbital Configurations for Large LEO Constellations Providing Navigation Services, IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1109/AERO55745.2023.10115563
 P.A. Iannucci, T.E. Humphreys, Fused Low-Earth-Orbit GNSS, IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems (2020, in press). http://doi.org/10.1109/TAES.2022.3180000. https://doi.org/10.1109/TAES.2022.3180000
 M. Di Mauro, Doppler Positioning Satellite System, EWP1959, ESA ESTEC 1997.