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Inter-Satellite Link Enhanced Orbit Determination for BeiDou-3

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 June 2019

Yufei Yang*
(Information Engineering University, Zhengzhou, 450001, China) (Beijing Satellite Navigation Center, Beijing 100094, China)
Yuanxi Yang
(Xi'an Research Institute of Surveying and Mapping, Xi'an 710054, China) (National Key Laboratory of Geo-information Engineering, Xi'an 710054, China)
Xiaogong Hu
(Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200030, China)
Jinping Chen
(Beijing Satellite Navigation Center, Beijing 100094, China)
Rui Guo
(Beijing Satellite Navigation Center, Beijing 100094, China)
Chengpan Tang
(Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200030, China)
Shanshi Zhou
(Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200030, China)
Liqian Zhao
(Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200030, China)
Junyi Xu
(Beijing Satellite Navigation Center, Beijing 100094, China)


The third generation of the BeiDou navigation satellite system (BDS-3) is a global navigation system, and is expected to be in full operation by 2020. High-precision orbits are a precondition for BDS-3 to provide a highly accurate service, which needs a global tracking and monitoring capability for the operational satellites. However, it is difficult for BDS to construct global ground monitoring stations. Fortunately, Ka-band Inter-Satellite Link (ISL) antennae fitted to the BDS-3 satellites can be used to extend the visible arc of the Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites and to enhance the ground stations for orbit determination. This paper analyses the ISL-enhanced orbit determination for eight BDS-3 satellites, using the data from ten Chinese domestic stations and 13 international Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Monitoring and Assessment System (iGMAS) overseas stations. The results show that the Three-Dimensional (3D) position Root Mean Square (RMS) error of the Overlapping Orbit Differences (OODs) is approximately 1 m when only ten regional stations are used. When the ISL measurements are added, the 3D position RMS error is decreased to 0·5 m, and the accuracy of the 24-hour orbit prediction can also be improved from 2 m to 0·7 m, which is even better than that of the orbits determined using globally distributed stations. It can be expected that with the subsequent launch of BDS-3 satellites and the increasing number of ISLs, the advantage of the ISL enhanced orbit determination will become more significant.

Research Article
Copyright © The Royal Institute of Navigation 2019 

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