ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository

Preparing an Autonomous, Low-Cost GNSS Positioning and Timing Function on-Board a GEO Telecom Mission: a Study Case
Zin, A.; Mangolini, E.; Cappelluti, I.; Fiordiponti, R.; Flament, P.; Kowaltschek, S.
Presented at:
Porto 2014
Full paper:

The purpose of this paper is to present a viable solution for a low-cost, autonomous GNSS positioning and timing function integrated in the avionic of a GEO telecomm satellite. This paper is based on a study currently carried out by Thales Alenia Space under an ARTES contract with ESA [10], funded by the Italian Space Agency. The availability of an autonomous mean of positioning in GEO platform is essential in reducing the constraints on the ground control. This is even more true in the case of the transfer to the GEO orbit, where the current trend is to implement the low-thrust electrical propulsion and this phase could have a duration of months: the GNSS function can autonomously feed the on-board trajectory propagator with the spacecraft position fixes, in order to constraint the state estimate of the on-board filter. In order to achieve large availability of position and timing of the hosting platform, the tracking of the GNSS antenna side lobes feature is a critical feature. Based on the recent experiences of SGR GEO [2], additional insights on the side-lobe levels were made available to the GNSS community and this allows to better target a receiver architecture whose performance can be more precisely determined for the study case. This paper will show the findings in terms of GNSS function architecture for the GEO application, as well as the integration of this function inside the avionic computer. The focus is on a single frequency receiver, targeting at least GPS L1 and GALILEO E1 signals. Optimizations in terms of sharing of HW resources with the on-board computer (oscillator, DC/DC converter) and the overall redundancy strategy are presented. Extension and implications for covering to the GTO case is presented as well. The expected receiver performances (position and timing accuracy, autonomy) are provided through in-orbit simulations, including a realistic receiver model.