Developing a Robust, Interoperable GNSS Space Service Volume (SSV) for the Global Space User Community

Frank  H. Bauer, Joel J. K. Parker, Bryan Welch, Werner Enderle

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: For over two decades, researchers, space users, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) service providers, and international policy makers have been working diligently to expand the space-borne use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and, most recently, to employ the full complement of GNSS constellations to increase spacecraft navigation performance. Space-borne Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) applications employing GNSS are now ubiquitous in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). GNSS use in space is quickly expanding into the Space Service Volume (SSV), the signal environment in the volume surrounding the Earth that enables real-time PNT measurements from GNSS systems at altitudes of 3000 km and above. To support the current missions and planned future missions within the SSV, initiatives are being conducted in the United States and internationally to ensure that GNSS signals are available, robust, and yield precise navigation performance. These initiatives include the Interagency Forum for Operational Requirements (IFOR) effort in the United States, to support GPS SSV signal robustness through future design changes, and the United Nations-sponsored International Committee on GNSS (ICG), to coordinate SSV development across all international GNSS constellations and regional augmentations. The results of these efforts have already proven fruitful, enabling new missions through radically improved navigation and timing performance, ensuring quick recovery from trajectory maneuvers, improving space vehicle autonomy and making GNSS signals more resilient from potential disruptions. Missions in the SSV are operational now and have demonstrated outstanding PNT performance characteristics; much better than what was envisioned less than a decade ago. The recent launch of the first in a series of US weather satellites will employ the use of GNSS in the SSV to substantially improve weather prediction and public-safety situational awareness of fast moving events, including hurricanes, flash floods, severe storms, tornados and wildfires. Thus, the benefits of the GNSS expansion and use into the SSV are tremendous, resulting in orders of magnitude return in investment to national governments and extraordinary societal benefits, including lives saved and critical infrastructure and property protected. However, this outstanding success is tempered by dual challenges: that for GPS, the current SSV specifications do not adequately protect SSV future use; and that for GNSS, the capabilities that are currently available are not protected in the future by specifications.
Published in: Proceedings of the 2017 International Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation
January 30 - 2, 2017
Hyatt Regency Monterey
Monterey, California
Pages: 132 - 149
Cite this article: Bauer, Frank  H., Parker, Joel J. K., Welch, Bryan, Enderle, Werner, "Developing a Robust, Interoperable GNSS Space Service Volume (SSV) for the Global Space User Community," Proceedings of the 2017 International Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation, Monterey, California, January 2017, pp. 132-149.
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