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Sensors 2016, 16(8), 1327; doi:10.3390/s16081327

The Availability of Space Service for Inter-Satellite Links in Navigation Constellations

College of Mechatronics Engineering and Automation, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha 410073, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 May 2016 / Revised: 19 July 2016 / Accepted: 16 August 2016 / Published: 19 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Abstract

Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) are widely used in low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite navigation; however, their availability is poor for users in medium Earth orbits (MEO), and high Earth orbits (HEO). With the increasing demand for navigation from MEO and HEO users, the inadequate coverage of GNSS has emerged. Inter-satellite links (ISLs) are used for ranging and communication between navigation satellites and can also serve space users that are outside the navigation constellation. This paper aims to summarize their application method and analyze their service performance. The mathematical model of visibility is proposed and then the availability of time division ISLs is analyzed based on global grid points. The BeiDou navigation constellation is used as an example for numerical simulation. Simulation results show that the availability can be enhanced by scheduling more satellites and larger beams, while the presence of more users lowers the availability. The availability of navigation signals will be strengthened when combined with the signals from the ISLs. ISLs can improve the space service volume (SSV) of navigation constellations, and are therefore a promising method for navigation in MEO/HEO spacecraft. View Full-Text
Keywords: GNSS; inter-satellite link; space service volume; availability GNSS; inter-satellite link; space service volume; availability
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Tang, Y.; Wang, Y.; Chen, J. The Availability of Space Service for Inter-Satellite Links in Navigation Constellations. Sensors 2016, 16, 1327.

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