Design and Operation of the GPS Receiver Onboard the CanX-2 Nanosatellite

Erin Kahr, Kyle P.G. O'Keefe, Susan Skone and Laura Bradbury

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Among its payloads, the Canadian Advanced Nanospace eXperiment 2 (CanX-2) nanosatellite is carrying a commercial off-the-shelf GPS receiver, which offers advantages in terms of cost, size and power, and overall continues to perform well more than four years after launch. However, at orbital velocity and with low signal power the receiver is unable to acquire a position fix quickly using its standard acquisition algorithm. In order to effectively collect GPS data over short time intervals, the receiver is manually warm started by pre-assigning channels with PRN and Doppler information. Uploading warm start scripts to the satellite allows for reliable acquisition in an average of 3.5 min compared to a cold start of approximately 20 min, and avoids the need for complex onboard warm start capability. The data collection capability has in turn enabled a variety of scientific results to be obtained. Copyright© 2013 Institute of Navigation.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 60, Number 2
Pages: 143 - 156
Cite this article: Kahr, Erin, O'Keefe, Kyle P.G., Skone, Susan, Bradbury, Laura, "Design and Operation of the GPS Receiver Onboard the CanX-2 Nanosatellite", NAVIGATION: Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 60, No. 2, Summer 2013, pp. 143-156.
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