Recursive Estimation of Spacecraft Position and Velocity Using X-ray Pulsar Time of Arrival Measurements

Suneel I. Sheikh and Darryll J. Pines

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: The use of pulsars for spacecraft position determination has been considered since their discovery.These celestial sources provide unique signals that can be detected by sensors placed onboard spacecraft. Upon sufficient detection and processing, these signals can be used to generate range measurements with respect to an inertial reference location. Multiple measurements can be used to maintain an accurate navigation solution and enhance autonomous vehicle operation. This paper provides a description of blending pulsar-derived range measurements within a Kalman filter for continuous determination of Earth-orbiting spacecraft position and velocity. Several examples at different orbital altitudes are presented to establish the expected performance using recursive measurements obtained from models of pulsed X-ray signals.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 53, Number 3
Pages: 149 - 166
Cite this article: Sheikh, Suneel I., Pines, Darryll J., "Recursive Estimation of Spacecraft Position and Velocity Using X-ray Pulsar Time of Arrival Measurements", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 53, No. 3, Fall 2006, pp. 149-166.
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