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Open AccessArticle

Real-Time Estimation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Clock Based on Ground Tracking Stations

1
GNSS Research Center, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
2
College of Geological Engineering and Geomatics, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710054, China
3
Zhejiang GeeSpace Technology Co., Ltd., Shanghai 200233, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(12), 2050; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12122050
Received: 18 May 2020 / Revised: 23 June 2020 / Accepted: 23 June 2020 / Published: 25 June 2020
The rapid movement of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite can improve geometric diversity, which contributes to the rapid convergence of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) precise point positioning (PPP). However, the LEO onboard receiver clock cannot be used directly by PPP users as the LEO satellite clock because the LEO onboard receiver clock and LEO satellite clock absorb different code delays when receiving and transmitting signals. In this study, a real-time estimation approach for the LEO satellite clock based on ground tracking stations was proposed for the first time. The feasibility for the rapid convergence of the LEO satellite clock was analyzed using the satellite time dilution of precision (TDOP) that one satellite is relative to multiple ground tracking stations. The LEO constellation of 168 satellites and observations for 15 ground tracking stations were simulated to verify the proposed method. The experiment results showed that the average convergence time was 31.21 min for the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite clock, whereas the value for the LEO satellite clock was only 2.86 min. The average root mean square (RMS) and standard deviation (STD) values after convergence were 0.71 and 0.39 ns for the LEO satellite clock, whereas the values were 0.31 and 0.13 ns for the GPS satellite clock. The average weekly satellite TDOP for the LEO satellite was much smaller than that for the GPS satellite. The average satellite TDOPs for all LEO and GPS satellites were 19.13 and 1294.70, respectively. However, the average delta TDOPs caused by satellite motion for all LEO and GPS satellites were both 0.10. Therefore, the rapid convergence of the LEO satellite clock resulted from the better geometric distribution of the LEO satellite relative to ground stations. Despite errors and the convergence time of the LEO satellite clock, the convergence time and positioning accuracy for LEO-augmented GPS and BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) PPP with the real-time estimated LEO satellite clock can still reach 10.63 min, 1.94 cm, 1.44 cm, and 4.18 cm in the east, north, and up components, respectively. The improvements caused by LEO satellite for GPS/BDS PPP were 59%, 30%, 31%, and 33%, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: LEO constellation; satellite clock estimation; ground tracking stations; precise point positioning (PPP) LEO constellation; satellite clock estimation; ground tracking stations; precise point positioning (PPP)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, Z.; Liu, H.; Qian, C.; Shu, B.; Zhang, L.; Xu, X.; Zhang, Y.; Lou, Y. Real-Time Estimation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Clock Based on Ground Tracking Stations. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 2050. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12122050

AMA Style

Yang Z, Liu H, Qian C, Shu B, Zhang L, Xu X, Zhang Y, Lou Y. Real-Time Estimation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Clock Based on Ground Tracking Stations. Remote Sensing. 2020; 12(12):2050. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12122050

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yang, Zhixin; Liu, Hui; Qian, Chuang; Shu, Bao; Zhang, Linjie; Xu, Xintong; Zhang, Yi; Lou, Yidong. 2020. "Real-Time Estimation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Clock Based on Ground Tracking Stations" Remote Sens. 12, no. 12: 2050. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12122050

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