The Improvement of Multi-Satellite Orbit Determination Through the Incorporation of Intersatellite Ranging Observations

dc.contributor.advisor Gunter, Brian C.
dc.contributor.author Davis, Byron Taylor
dc.contributor.committeeMember Lightsey, Edgar G.
dc.contributor.committeeMember Ho, Koki
dc.contributor.committeeMember Seubert, Jill
dc.contributor.committeeMember Gustafson, Eric
dc.contributor.department Aerospace Engineering
dc.date.accessioned 2023-01-10T16:20:27Z
dc.date.available 2023-01-10T16:20:27Z
dc.date.created 2021-12
dc.date.issued 2021-12-14
dc.date.submitted December 2021
dc.date.updated 2023-01-10T16:20:27Z
dc.description.abstract For many satellite remote sensing and communications missions, particularly those involving a formation or constellation of satellites, having precise knowledge of the satellites’ positions in both an absolute and relative sense is essential. However, the capabilities of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)-based precise orbit determination (POD) alone may not be enough to fulfill the mission’s requirements. This thesis examines potential gains to POD when additional Intersatellite Range (ISR) observations (range magnitude only, not range direction or rate) are combined with standard GNSS observables. These ISR observations can be obtained from simple radio frequency (RF) or optical sensors. The methodology behind the combination approach is described and illustrated through a series of simulated case studies involving multiple satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) using realistic hardware-derived (where possible) measurement noise. The results demonstrate that substantial improvements (factor of two or better) in the POD of the constellation satellites can be obtained with even intermittent ranging measurements, and with only millimeter-level ranging precision. This improved positioning capability enables new mission concepts for small-satellite constellations and formations, and makes these multi-satellite systems resilient to disruptions in GNSS signal availability. This GNSS-denial could be due to a variety of factors, such as intermittent or total hardware failure, power-related duty cycling, or ground-based jamming. Results show that under appropriate phasing of periodic GNSS-denial, combined with the new information from the ISR observations, POD levels approaching the non-GNSS-denied case can be achieved. For the cases of region-specific or single-satellite total GNSS-denial, constellations with ISR capability can be designed to completely compensate for the loss of GNSS observations and perform at levels better than with GNSS alone. Furthermore, the GNSS-denied case has an extended application for providing ISR-only POD for constellations around planetary bodies through the inversion of the invariant non-spherical gravity fields. Case studies are presented using high resolution invariant Earth and lunar gravity fields. In these example cases, ISR-only POD is demonstrated at the sub-meter level with the same millimeter precision of ISR. This research provides opportunities for new mission concepts that require precise positioning, improvements to mission operations, and enables new paradigms for orbit determination without access to GNSS.
dc.description.degree Ph.D.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1853/70079
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher Georgia Institute of Technology
dc.subject Precise Orbit Determination
dc.subject GNSS-Denied
dc.subject Autonomous Lunar Navigation
dc.subject GNSS Simulation
dc.subject Intersatellite Ranging
dc.subject Intersatellite Range Magnitude-Only Precise Orbit Determination
dc.subject Reduced Dynamics Modelling
dc.subject Square Root Information Filter
dc.subject Stochastic Estimation
dc.subject CubeSat
dc.subject Constellations
dc.subject The Ranging and Nanosatellite Guidance Experiment
dc.subject Chip Scale Atomic Clocks
dc.title The Improvement of Multi-Satellite Orbit Determination Through the Incorporation of Intersatellite Ranging Observations
dc.type Text
dc.type.genre Dissertation
dspace.entity.type Publication
local.contributor.advisor Gunter, Brian C.
local.contributor.corporatename College of Engineering
local.contributor.corporatename Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering
local.relation.ispartofseries Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in Aerospace Engineering
relation.isAdvisorOfPublication 76d91d29-f35b-4654-b3d4-2a53708e2c12
relation.isOrgUnitOfPublication 7c022d60-21d5-497c-b552-95e489a06569
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thesis.degree.level Doctoral
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