New Thoughts on Clock Technology for Future GNSS Satellites

Frank Czopek

Abstract: The heart of the a GNSS payload is an atomic clock which controls the accuracy of the transmitted signal. Conventional thinking is to use the best clock and you get the best accuracy from a GNSS satellite. The problem with this approach is you get negligible improvement for the majority of users and the approach doubles the price of the GNSS payload. This paper will show that by adopting a different clock architecture, a majority of GNSS users will experience two orders of performance improvement for autonomous driving, UAV operations and pedestrian navigation plus improve timing for networks and comm systems. The estimated form factor will larger than the current atomic clock factor but with the size of GNSS satellites, it will not be a problem. The cost will be less than the present fountain and full optical clocks. It is estimated to take 26 months to develop a TRL 6 demonstration unit.
Published in: Proceedings of the 34th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2021)
September 20 - 24, 2021
Union Station Hotel
St. Louis, Missouri
Pages: 1917 - 1926
Cite this article: Czopek, Frank, "New Thoughts on Clock Technology for Future GNSS Satellites," Proceedings of the 34th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2021), St. Louis, Missouri, September 2021, pp. 1917-1926. https://doi.org/10.33012/2021.18149
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