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Sensors 2017, 17(3), 635; doi:10.3390/s17030635

Precise Orbit Solution for Swarm Using Space-Borne GPS Data and Optimized Pseudo-Stochastic Pulses

1
School of Geodesy and Geomatics, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
2
Beijing Key Laboratory of Urban Spatial Information Engineering, Beijing Institute of Surveying and Mapping, Beijing 100038, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jason K. Levy
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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Abstract

Swarm is a European Space Agency (ESA) project that was launched on 22 November 2013, which consists of three Swarm satellites. Swarm precise orbits are essential to the success of the above project. This study investigates how well Swarm zero-differenced (ZD) reduced-dynamic orbit solutions can be determined using space-borne GPS data and optimized pseudo-stochastic pulses under high ionospheric activity. We choose Swarm space-borne GPS data from 1–25 October 2014, and Swarm reduced-dynamic orbits are obtained. Orbit quality is assessed by GPS phase observation residuals and compared with Precise Science Orbits (PSOs) released by ESA. Results show that pseudo-stochastic pulses with a time interval of 6 min and a priori standard deviation (STD) of 10−2 mm/s in radial (R), along-track (T) and cross-track (N) directions are optimized to Swarm ZD reduced-dynamic precise orbit determination (POD). During high ionospheric activity, the mean Root Mean Square (RMS) of Swarm GPS phase residuals is at 9–11 mm, Swarm orbit solutions are also compared with Swarm PSOs released by ESA and the accuracy of Swarm orbits can reach 2–4 cm in R, T and N directions. Independent Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) validation indicates that Swarm reduced-dynamic orbits have an accuracy of 2–4 cm. Swarm-B orbit quality is better than those of Swarm-A and Swarm-C. The Swarm orbits can be applied to the geomagnetic, geoelectric and gravity field recovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: Swarm; precise orbit determination; reduced-dynamic method; space-borne dual-frequency GPS data; pseudo-stochastic pulses; orbit accuracy Swarm; precise orbit determination; reduced-dynamic method; space-borne dual-frequency GPS data; pseudo-stochastic pulses; orbit accuracy
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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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Zhang, B.; Wang, Z.; Zhou, L.; Feng, J.; Qiu, Y.; Li, F. Precise Orbit Solution for Swarm Using Space-Borne GPS Data and Optimized Pseudo-Stochastic Pulses. Sensors 2017, 17, 635.

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