A long-term broadcast ephemeris model for extended operation of GNSS satellites

Oliver Montenbruck, Peter Steigenberger, Moritz Aicher

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: GNSS positioning relies on orbit and clock information, which is predicted on the ground and transmitted by the individual satellites as part of their broadcast navigation message. For an increased autonomy of either the space or user segment, the capability to predict a GNSS satellite orbit over extended periods of up to two weeks is studied. A tailored force model for numerical orbit propagation is proposed that offers high accuracy but can still be used in real-time environments. Using the Galileo constellation with its high-grade hydrogenmaser clocks as an example, global average signal-in-space range errors of less than 25mRMS and 3D position errors of less than about 50 m are demonstrated after two-week predictions in 95% of all test cases over a half-year period. The autonomous orbit prediction model thus enables adequate quality for a rapid first fix or contingency navigation in case of lacking ground segment updates.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 68, Number 1
Pages: 199 - 215
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