Performance of Two-satellite Aircraft Positioning using Passive Bistatic Altimetry and a Stable Frequency Reference

Shih-Wei Yen, Frank van Graas, Maarten Uijt de Haag and Kuangmin Li

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Global Positioning System (GPS) surface reflected signals have previously been studied for aircraft passive bistatic altimetry and remote sensing. In this research, GPS reflected measurements from a software-defined receiver (SDR) are used for aircraft passive bistatic altimetry and coasting with a Stable Frequency Reference (SFR) to continue navigation when only two GPS satellites are available. The research in this paper focuses on flights over water, a scenario in which the water causes strong reflected signals while alternate terrestrial radio navigation signals are generally not available. Theoretical clock and position error covariances are derived as a function of measurement error, satellite geometry, SFR stability, and GPS bistatic altimetry performance. This is followed by computer simulations and evaluations using flight test data to characterize the positioning performance.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 63, Number 4
Pages: 413 - 426
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