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GNSS Enabling New Capabilities in Space on the TechDemoSat-1 Satellite

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Philip Moore, Dr Jing Guo


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This paper describes the status of the UK TechDemoSat-1 (TDS-1) and its experimental GNSS receiver payload, the SGRReSI, and an overview of its recent operations and experiments. TDS-1 is a 160 kg satellite that was launched in July 2014. The SGR-ReSI continues to be operated on an experimental basis 2 days out of 8 collecting significant volumes of reflected GPS signals off the Earth’s surface. Once corrections are made for the antenna pattern, and radiometric corrections for the system gain, the signal strength is related to the roughness of the reflection surface. Researchers at NOC have developed algorithms for inverting the measurements into estimates of the wind speed, and have been validating these models against other measurements of wind. While primarily an L1 single frequency experiment, the SGR-ReSI can operate at L2 and has been programmed in orbit to acquire and track GPS L2C signals. SSTL has been working with Newcastle University to recover the precise orbit using both L1 and L2C signals. Extra zenith GPS antennas have been used for providing extra platform attitude measurements, and for the first time, Galileo E1 signals are being tracked in orbit. In mid-summer, TDS-1 reaches the end of its nominal operating life, but plans are being made to extend the life, and move towards a higher level of service with partners experimenting with a pilot service. Beyond TDS-1, opportunities are being formulated for future opportunity flights of GNSS reflectometry on SSTL's satellites, and a new generation of instrument is being developed that supports both reflectometry and radio occultation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Unwin M, Jales P, Duncan S, Palfreyman A, Gommenginger C, Foti G, Moore P, Guo J, Rosello J

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 30th International Technical Meeting of The Satellite Division of the Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2017)

Year of Conference: 2017

Pages: 4066-4079

Print publication date: 30/11/2017

Online publication date: 29/09/2017

Acceptance date: 25/09/2017

Publisher: Institute of Navigation


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 23303662