Economical Fused LEO GNSS

Peter A. Iannucci and Todd E. Humphreys

Abstract: In addition to Internet service, new commercial broadband low-Earth-orbiting (LEO) satellites could provide a positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) service far more robust to interference than traditional Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Previous proposals for LEO PNT require dedicated spectrum and hardware: a transmitter, antenna, and atomic clock on board every broadband satellite. This paper proposes a high-performance, low-cost alternative which fuses the requirements of PNT service into the existing capabilities of the broadband satellite. A concept of operations for so-called fused LEO GNSS is presented and analyzed both in terms of positioning performance and in terms of the economy of its use of constellation resources of transmitters, bandwidth, and time. This paper shows that continuous assured PNT service over ±60° latitude (covering 99.8% of the world’s population) with positioning performance exceeding traditional GNSS pseudoranging would cost less than 2% of system capacity for the largest new constellations, such as SpaceX’s Starlink or Amazon’s Project Kuiper.
Published in: 2020 IEEE/ION Position, Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS)
April 20 - 23, 2020
Hilton Portland Downtown
Portland, Oregon
Pages: 426 - 443
Cite this article: Iannucci, Peter A., Humphreys, Todd E., "Economical Fused LEO GNSS," 2020 IEEE/ION Position, Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS), Portland, Oregon, April 2020, pp. 426-443.
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