Demonstration of a Space Capable Miniature Dual Frequency GNSS Receiver

E. Glenn Lightsey, Todd E. Humphreys, Jahshan A. Bhatti, Andrew J. Joplin, Brady W. O’Hanlon, and Steven P. Powell

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: A low cost, miniature, dual frequency, software defined Global Navigation Satellite System receiver was developed and flown on a sounding rocket. The receiver, known as the Fast, Orbital, TEC, Observables, and Navigation (FOTON) receiver, is intended for use in space applications. In this paper, the receiver design is described and flight test results are presented. On its maiden sounding rocket demonstration flight in 2012, FOTON demonstrated GPS-based ionospheric sounding, including: (1) use of a dual frequency GPS receiver onboard a sounding rocket experiment, (2) estimation of spacecraft spin rate by exploiting differential GPS phase windup in a dual frequency receiver, and (3) GPS-based measurement of the vertical electron density profile in aurora. In preparation for upcoming space flights, FOTON was also designed for operation in low Earth orbit.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 61, Number 1
Pages: 53 - 64
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