Autonomous orbit determination for formations of cubesats beyond LEO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper investigates the use of the Time Of Arrival (TOA) and Doppler shift to allow a small formation of CubeSats to navigate beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). The idea is to use a one way communication, from one or more ground stations to two or more CubeSats, to reconstruct an estimation of the position and velocity of the formation with respect to Earth. The paper considers the use of the difference in TOA and Doppler measurements to mitigate the error introduced by the onboard clock. These measurements are combined with inter-satellite distance and velocity measurements based on a two-way communication between pairs of spacecraft. The paper will provide an estimation of the error in position and velocity that can be obtained by a combination of these measurements. The reference case for these analyses will be a transfer trajectory to the Moon.
LanguageEnglish
JournalActa Astronautica
Early online date14 Feb 2018
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 14 Feb 2018

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Orbits
Earth (planet)
Distance measurement
Doppler effect
Communication
Moon
Velocity measurement
Spacecraft
Clocks
Trajectories
Satellites
Time of arrival

Keywords

  • cubesat
  • orbit determination
  • deep space
  • TOA
  • time of arrival
  • doppler shift
  • transfer trajectories
  • Moon
  • astronautics

Cite this

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title = "Autonomous orbit determination for formations of cubesats beyond LEO",
abstract = "This paper investigates the use of the Time Of Arrival (TOA) and Doppler shift to allow a small formation of CubeSats to navigate beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). The idea is to use a one way communication, from one or more ground stations to two or more CubeSats, to reconstruct an estimation of the position and velocity of the formation with respect to Earth. The paper considers the use of the difference in TOA and Doppler measurements to mitigate the error introduced by the onboard clock. These measurements are combined with inter-satellite distance and velocity measurements based on a two-way communication between pairs of spacecraft. The paper will provide an estimation of the error in position and velocity that can be obtained by a combination of these measurements. The reference case for these analyses will be a transfer trajectory to the Moon.",
keywords = "cubesat, orbit determination, deep space, TOA, time of arrival, doppler shift, transfer trajectories, Moon, astronautics",
author = "Massimiliano Vasile and Francesco Torre and Romain Serra and Stuart Grey",
year = "2018",
month = "2",
day = "14",
doi = "10.1016/j.actaastro.2018.01.045",
language = "English",
journal = "Acta Astronautica",
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AU - Torre,Francesco

AU - Serra,Romain

AU - Grey,Stuart

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AB - This paper investigates the use of the Time Of Arrival (TOA) and Doppler shift to allow a small formation of CubeSats to navigate beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). The idea is to use a one way communication, from one or more ground stations to two or more CubeSats, to reconstruct an estimation of the position and velocity of the formation with respect to Earth. The paper considers the use of the difference in TOA and Doppler measurements to mitigate the error introduced by the onboard clock. These measurements are combined with inter-satellite distance and velocity measurements based on a two-way communication between pairs of spacecraft. The paper will provide an estimation of the error in position and velocity that can be obtained by a combination of these measurements. The reference case for these analyses will be a transfer trajectory to the Moon.

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KW - astronautics

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