Norman S. Potter

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: An extensive operational, engineering design, and experimental study is reported which has sought to detetermine the technical and economic feasiblity of a satellite position determination system that very nearly satisfies the entirety of the needs of the community of potential users. These include geodetic and oceanographic surveys, maritime and airborne navigation operations, and terrestial tracking net calibration and mapping for global test range instrumentation and space vehicle command control needs. Eventual need for other satellite navigation systems, which other wise would mitigate against a limited applicability system because of teh parallel implementation costs, would thereby be eliminated. Technical and general systems considerations discussed herein include satellite feasibility, receiver-data processing, and subsystem configuration and performance. The most significant factors are seen to be user equipment cost and the uniform provision of precision in position determination at other than premium prices. The analysis has led to the evolution of a system concept which utilizes existent radar tracking installations in conjunction with a corner reflector equipped satellite that orbits at approcimately 1,000 nm. It has bee determined that the extremely accurate orbit determination resulting from system operation in the geodetic/ground tracking network calibration modes permits the configuration of a doppler navigation and survey system of pronounced simplicity and precision. Acting as a communication relay, the satellite would receive its position coordinates from the tracking network and, together with reference fixed frequency signals for doppler navigation purposes, retransmit them omni-directionally on a programmed basis. Computer aided system simulation studies have established that the navigator's equipment, whose cost could be commensurate with that of conventional Loran receiver apparatus, could automatically provide absolute positional estimates to within about 100 ft. Preliminary design studies have shown that the navigator's equipment, which would be passive could, by the application of conventional circuitry miniaturizatio methods, occupy a volume of approximately one half cubi foot and, exclusive of the power source, weigh eight pounds. Optional position and status reporting could be provided for safty and traffic-handling purposes.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 11, Number 4
Pages: 366 - 378
Cite this article: Potter, Norman S., "ACCURACY AND SIMPLIFICATION IN DOPPLER NAVIGATION SATELLITE SYSTEMS", NAVIGATION: Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 11, No. 4, Winter 1964-1965, pp. 366-378.
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